Canada, Born 1939
John Stoneman estimates that he has spent two-and-a-half years of his life under water, making films and changing our understanding of sharks.
Over the past three decades, the ardent Canadian naturalist and film-maker has made over 250 underwater documentaries, recording both the beauty of the ocean environment and its decline. “As a conservationist, I use film to inform people about the natural world, especially the fragile ecosystems that exist beneath the sea,” says Stoneman.
The recipient of more than 100 international film awards, he is renowned for his pioneering work as a director and cinematographer on such productions as Nomads of the Deep, the first underwater IMAX film, and The Last Frontier, the longest-running original television series about the sea. Stoneman is best known for his films about sharks. Fascinated by these awesome creatures, at age 42 he earned a master’s degree in zoology, specializing in shark behaviour.
Of the record-breaking 12,000 dives he has logged, 2,500 have involved sharks, and his dramatic forays into the world of sharks have helped correct numerous popular misconceptions about these predatory fish.
Although he is the most prolific underwater film-maker in the world, Stoneman remains modest and soft-spoken, and is content if his work can give people “a greater understanding and appreciation of the sea”.
Published in 2000