Would you swim with a school of tiger sharks without any protection?
Hannah Fraser did.
Some might consider her fearless, others might call her crazy, but really she is just extremely dedicated to helping rescue sharks.
Hannah is on a mission to prove sharks are not the monsters mainstream media paints them to be.
Especially in Australia, where the West Australian government has ordered a cull on sharks as an attempt to make beaches safer for visitors, an order that is largely impacting the Tiger Shark.
And it’s not just in Australia; every year over 100 million sharks are killed around the world, and not very many people are standing up to protest.
If you think Tiger sharks are man-eating monsters, it’s easy not to care.
Yet after seeing how Hannah interacts with these sharks it’s hard not to think otherwise, realizing that perhaps large predatory sharks are wrongly labeled.
Tiger sharks play a vital role in our earth’s eco system and they are capable of making connections with people, showing kindness really does exist within them.
So while dolphins, whales, and other forms of marine life are more adamantly protected, sharks deserve some protection too.
Hannah is a pretty blonde with a cropped hairstyle and a sweet smile, but for the video she is dressed as a mystical looking mermaid with long dark hair. The sharks clearly sense her gentle spirit and loving aura as they surround Hannah on all sides.
Some scenes capture more intimate moments, where Hannah reaches out to touch them, coming face to face with sharks up to 17 feet long.
Cleary Hannah is no match for a vicious snarling shark, especially without any protective gear. It took hours of prep time getting her ready for the video shot, although she’s only wearing a bathing suit and 2-hours worth of detailed body paint. No, her and the crew are not completely crazy.
In fact, they worked with experts in the field such as Jim Abernethy, who spends his days interacting with predatory sharks and is considered a leading authority on the matter. Everything about the film was carefully considered and planned to try and protect Hannah’s safety.
Still, Hannah was far from fearless. She had a lot of pressure to not only perform beautifully alongside the sharks, but she also needed to make a connection with them, one strong enough to be visible on camera. In Hannah’s own words, “It’s easy to connect with a happy dolphin, this is not easy.”
It took a lot of guts for Hannah to go down there. After all, Hannah has grown up in the same world as you and I, where sharks are seen as hungry monsters with names like Jaws. Plus, sharks can be dangerous, a fact that even shark conservationists will admit.
As one of the most talented underwater performers, Hannah was willing to conquer her fears in order to show the world Tiger Sharks do not deserve to be feared or slaughtered. Sharks don’t want to eat humans, they are not mindless monsters, and instead they can appreciate connections just as much, if not more so, than food.
Shawn Heinrichs, Hannah Fraser, and Jim Abernethy are the main names behind this video, which is set for release next year as a feature film called Tears of a Mermaid.
The producers behind the film make it clear that they don’t want everyone to go out and hug a shark; under the wrong conditions sharks are still undeniably dangerous. Although many wild creatures are, but that doesn’t mean sharks deserve to be prosecuted, killed, and left unprotected.
The point of the video is to show the world a different side of sharks, that just like dolphins and other coveted sea creatures, sharks are also capable of making connections with people. Sharks have feelings, and families, but unfortunately they are just totally misunderstood.