Monday, 12 August 2013

Dolphins, Sharks, and Mermaids, Oh, My! Interview With a Real-life Mermaid and Ocean Activist

We're not in Kansas, anymore in our popular imaginations. In fact, Dorothy, in the 21st century, we're not even on land anymore. We're underwater. Perhaps it was inevitable that as coastlines sink and monster hurricanes flood our cities with increasing fury, we wake up to the fact that ours is a blue planet. We land-dwellers are in the minority. Humans will sink or swim with the rising tides of "global weirding." What better time to remember and apprentice ourselves to the mermaid myths that have inspired us for thousands of years? And who better to teach us than real-life mermaids, like Australian Hannah Fraser, who was one of the first and now most prominent professional mermaids?

Recently Fraser worked with Shawn Heinrichs, a top underwater filmmaker, to create the gorgeous and educational conservation film "Mantas Last Dance," which directly helped put manta rays on the endangered list at CITES (Convention for International Trade on Endangered Species) a United Nations delegation that convenes every three years to decide the fate of endangered animals.
I caught up with Mermaid Hannah when she was swimming with manta rays and sharks for another marine conservation film. She surfaced long enough for our interview.

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