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Hello! I’m honored to be here with so many amazing people! 

Today I’m taking you on a journey of turning Fantasy into Reality - to serve the needs of our world.

This is me, a year ago, weighted to the bottom of the ocean, 35 ft deep, holding my breath for minutes at a time, dancing with Sharks.

My Name is Hannah Fraser and I am a REAL Life Mermaid.

Before you look at me too funny, lets consider what the word Mermaid actually means… Maid means Servant and Mer means of The Sea. If you prefer, you can call me a Servant of the Sea.
I have a dream that we can create a world built upon love, where all beings are valued, appreciated, and live in harmony with each other. Some may call this a fantasy. 

Most people think of fantasy as being kid’s stuff, I’d say- I want to be a mermaid when I grow up! And the response was “thats a nice fantasy.. but what do you want to do in reality?

I’d like to share something with you.

VIDEO: (2.30 minutes)
Everything you saw in that video was 100% real, with no special FX -
My journey has been a constant process of pushing the limits of what I thought was possible. 

When I was younger, I had a vivid fantasy life, drawing mermaids endlessly.
I was a shy and quiet child, and these images were a way I could express my passion.
At nine years old I saw ‘Splash’ and immediately knew my dream was within reach and I began to create my first tail. Made from tablecloths and pillow stuffing it came closer to drowning me than turning me in to a mermaid, but I kept trying.. I thought if I kept on swimming I might even grow gills.. 

Needless to say, that didn’t happen and I did grow up. I’d been making a living as an artist putting my passion for mermaids into paintings and drawings but also modeling, when I got a great opportunity to go to a casting for an underwater shoot. Now I'm not model height , so when  I arrived and was surrounded by glamorous tall amazon women I thought "no way" but you know what? None of them could hold their breathe underwater - but after all my practice as a kid- I got the job!"

This re-kindled my idea of swimming underwater in a tail again, almost 20 years after my first endeavor.
Now, you can simply go online and purchase a tail, but that time, there was no such thing. I had to create everything from scratch, and after countless hours of trying different things, I had my first legit prototype mermaid tail.
13 years later I have over 10 fully functional tails, each one taking about 6 months to create!
So, I started shooting with underwater photographers, and the media became interested, and then people actually began to hire me as a mermaid!
My fantasy became my reality.

I swam with a glittering tail through shipwrecks, played with dolphins, explored the blue underwater caves of Tonga. One of the most incredible experiences was swimming with a humpback whale and her baby. I was looking into an eye that was the size of my head. The song she sung was such a deep rumble that it vibrated every bone in my body. The effect was profound. I felt a presence that I can only explain as deeply intelligent and infinitely precious…

Back on land, my joy began to turn into horror and dismay..
I found out that these magnificent creatures, although supposedly protected, were still being hunted and killed. I was seeing reefs deteriorating before my eyes, beaches covered in garbage, and most devastating of all, I was learning of numerous species being annihilated through pollution and over-fishing.

Under current estimates, around 70% of the Earths oxygen is produced by the sea, and also around 70% of all life on earth exists in our oceans.
In the last 50 years we’ve eaten more than 90% of the large fish. At this rate, many suggest we will have exhausted most, if not all life in the ocean within the next few decades, which has catastrophic implications to our entire eco-system.

My bubble was bursting!
I realized that being a mermaid was no longer just about fantasy and fairy tails for me.. it was time to take action!

I began protesting at International Whaling Commissions around the world, creating photo petitions in an effort to stop whaling. 

I was part of a group that paddled out into the bay of Taiji, Japan, where we were attacked by fishermen that slaughter hundreds of dolphins each year.  The footage we captured was televised worldwide and featured in the academy award winning film, The Cove.
Millions of people become aware of the issue. This was instrumental in getting mercury laden dolphin meat taken off the supermarket shelves and out of the government funded school lunch program! However the killing continues!
Despite the film’s success, many people haven’t seen it… The common response is ’I don’t want to see dolphins being killed, but I support what you do!’ It seems many of us aren’t willing to face reality when it’s ugly.. So how do we galvanize mass awareness and action when something threatens our existence?

I began working with one of the most talented underwater cinematographers and passionate eco-activists - Shawn Heinrichs. Our mission became clear.
Instead of showing the harsh realities of the issues, what if we could inspire more change and drive action through beautiful imagery that personally connected humans to the animals?

We created the world’s first Whale Shark Fashion shoot, highlighting one Island communities ability to make more profit by non-invasive eco-tourism than from shark finning.
The photos and story went worldwide. The response was more than either of us had ever experienced before!
By bridging land and sea as a mermaid with a cause, we were able to appeal to people through fantasy, and empower them with a new possible reality.

Manta Rays are harmless, majestic beings who are hunted relentlessly just for their gills which are sold on the Asian food market. The Convention for International Trade of Endangered Species called CITES meets every 3 years to decide which animals will be listed for protection. Many people told us mantas would not be considered because of a perception that they are dangerous like the sting ray that killed Steve Irwin.

We created the short film Mantas Last Dance. There I was on the bottom of the ocean, freezing cold at midnight, weighted down with 50lb, pushed onto sharp rocks by strong currents, holding my breath in the darkness, with viper eels wrapping around my legs… and then the mantas showed up.. and began dancing inches from my fingertips! The connection was undeniable!

The film went viral worldwide, and was shown to the convention delegates at CITES.
Manta rays were put on the protected list, garnering more votes than any other animal, land or sea. 

There’s a belief out there that sharks are mindless killing machines..
The reality is, under 10 humans are killed by sharks per year, and humans kill 100 million sharks per year! That’s about 12,000 per hour! Recently in Western Australia a shark culling program was introduced, to make the beaches ‘safe’ for humans. So we asked - could we possibly get people to care about one of the world’s most feared predators?

We shot a film with Tiger Sharks. What I witnessed when interacting with them was astounding to me. Of all the animals I’ve connected with in the ocean, they were the ONLY ones who constantly approached to be touched and even tickled on the nose! I’m not suggesting that everyone go and try to pet tiger sharks… They are still wild apex predators, and I was with a group of trained professionals, but it does suggest that we have been misled in our perception of these animals.

The film ‘Tigress’ was seen by over 50 million people the first day it was released on tv networks and online. Once people saw these animals interacting harmlessly with a human, interest soared, and people felt connected to the issue!
We gathered over 10,000 letters calling for an end to the shark culling program, which were hand delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency of Australia. Joining our voices to many eco organizations around the world we were able to help change the shark cull policy.

I went from making a living, to worldwide acclaim when I found a way to use my passion to benefit the world. Passion connected with purpose has been a winning formula! We are part of a new paradigm of creativity fueling global change, through inspirational media. 

This is a 15 ft painting I created, called ‘the Angel of Choice’ - she asks you to chose your reality. We live in a time where radical creativity is needed more than ever. Fantasy and imagination are the source of innovation and solution.

Every action creates a ripple effect. By constantly choosing love and connection in every moment, we send out ever growing ripples that will change our reality.
Which world do you want to live in?

What possibilities exist when you bring your fantasies up from the depths, to the shores of reality?


Hannah Fraser official website

Hannah Fraser official Facebook

Hannah Fraser YouTube


Real Life Mermaid & Underwater Performance Artist - Hannah Fraser & Ocean Animals - 'Emanation'





Hannah Mermaid live performance slideshow







Hannah Mermaid interviewed on Sunrise Tv Show Dec 2012



Published on 10 Dec 2012
Hannah Fraser is interviewed on her career as a mermaid and releases new astounding images of swimming with Whale Sharks in the Philippines.
Sunrise Show Australia Channel 7, December 2012

For any questions on mermaid tail creation and mermaid swimming and career, refer to www.hannahmermaid.com FAQ
Photos by Shawn Heinrichs

Kendall O'Brian
David Warth
Cipto Aji Gunawan
Michael Gleissner
Per Petersen

A Current Affair Mermaid



Published on 28 Nov 2009
Hannah Fraser, a professional Mermaid is interviewed on A CURRENT AFFAIR about her globetrotting underwater modeling jobs of fantasy and activism. A real mermaid! Underwater model and actress makes a living from performing as a mermaid. A Current Affair gave permission for Hannah Fraser to use this video of her interview online.