David McGuire

Director, Biologist, Sea Stewards, Shark Stewards
Sausalito, CA, United States

About David


David McGuire is the founder of the non-profit Sea Stewards and the Shark Stewards initiative. As a research associate of the Department of Aquatic Biology at the California Academy of Sciences, David is conducting a shark research program that includes population studies, movements and fisheries impacts. As captain, dive master and filmmaker, David has explored the world’s oceans on numerous sailing voyages, producing media to raise awareness for the wonders of the natural world and the need to protect oceanic species.

Educated in Marine Biology, David holds a masters degree in Environmental Health and has worked in education and public health at the University of California at Berkeley for over a decade. David is the writer, producer and underwater cinematographer of several award-winning documentaries, including Sharks of San Francisco Bay. He also worked as cameraman on feature films such as 180 South with Patagonia and A Beautiful Wave. Films in production include a series on sea turtle conservation with Fish Finder, and a series on local sustainable seafood with fish guru Kenny Belov of Fish. He has also published numerous articles on the state of the ocean and sharks and writes a blog on sharks and ocean health.

As the Director of Sea Stewards and the Shark Stewards project, David helped build a coalition leading to the passage of the California Shark Conservation Act, AB 376. David is a published author and sits on several boards of non-profits including The San Francisco Green Film Festival and the Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary Association. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Hero of Marin Environmental Stewardship Award in 2011.

Areas of Expertise

Shark Biology, Marine Conservation, FIsheries Policy, Ocean Health Advocacy, Underwater Videography

An idea worth spreading

Get near, get on and get in the ocean. Learn, love and protect. Its our lifeline.

I'm passionate about

Raising awareness around threats to sharks, promoting better policy and advocating ocean health

Comments & conversations

David McGuire
Posted over 2 years ago
Should shark fishing be banned?
We cant regulate fisheries by international treaty. The Eastern Bluefin tuna quotas set by the regulatory body ICCAT is estimated to be 30X higher than the carrying capacity. Sharks are even harder to regulate and are more vulnerable biologically. The problem is how we fish for other fish. In the tuna and longline fisheries historically over half the fish caught were sharks. Oceanic Whitetips populations were seriously impacted. The recent increase in fin demand has essentially sounded the death knell, because now they have value as a product. We need better management of fisheries eg. length, depth and hook type on longlines. We can help protect sharks by eating less tuna and swordfish but we also have to reduce the demand for shark fin. To begin with we need to ban shark finning internationally at the UN level. All countries not just the 30 or so who have laws should ban the practice. In Asia we need a consumer education and regulation approach like we did in California to ban the trade and sale of shark fins. In the US where we are considering shark fin trade bans on the eastern Seaboard, we need to ensure that domestic shark fisheries dont expand to fill a market niche and create overfishing of domestic populations. There is no demonstrably sustainable shark fishery. Like here on the west coast commercial pressure have cause economic collapse and local extirpation. Sharks that are highly migratory like Great White Sharks are protected here but traverse international longline fisheries annually. Developing nations who manage local stocks and rely on sharks as food need to fish them but have to do so sustainably. A recent expedition to the Philippines by the California Academy of Sciences discovered that local sharks off Luzon had been fishes out almost completely, primarily to supply the shark fin trade. Shark Stewards is dedicated to stopping the shark fin trade, banning shark finning and stopping unsustainable harvest of sharks. sharkstewards.org