TORONTO – A model and marine conservationist dove underwater and "danced" with wild tiger sharks to protest against the worldwide killing of the marine fish.
Hannah Fraser plunged 50 feet (15 metres) in the Atlantic Ocean in the Bahamas to swim with a shoal of sharks. The self-proclaimed “human mermaid” said she undertook the swim to oppose the culling of tiger sharks, which are a threatened species due to finning and fishing by humans.
“Many people have asked me why I would put my life on the line to do this, especially for dangerous predatory sharks,” said Fraser in an interview.
“I feel that all animals play an essential role in keeping our ocean ecosystems in balance. We humans have a history of annihilating anything we see as a competition, so much so that we are now threatening our very existence on this planet.”
The incredible footage was shot by Emmy award-winning cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs and shows Fraser dancing on the bottom of the seabed with the sharks swimming around her.
FULL VIDEO: Woman dances with tiger sharks
The 38-year-old, who wore only a bikini and body paint and had no diving equipment, had to keep moving to stop the 16-foot-long sea creatures from attacking.
Fraser, who was born in England but now lives in Los Angeles, said goodbye to her family in case she did not return from the dangerous feat.
According to researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, over 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year. In 2013, there were 72 worldwide confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans.
© Shaw Media, 2014