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Hawaii - The Beauty and the Mantas

By : Shawn Heinrichs | Duration : 4min 16sec | Channel : Special Features
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Shawn Heinrichs' "Mantas last Dance" is an emergency call.

Hannah Fraser is a free diver. She has been working for over ten years as an underwater model, dancer and mermaid. Here, she dances with mantas rays, in Kona Hawaii, for Shawn Heinrichs' "Mantas Last Dance". A graceful and unique performance as a result...

A technical prowess for the production team and an outstanding performance for Hannah - no special effects were used for the film!

Almost one week of work, up to 20 hours a day! Imagine you are this beautiful mermaid, tied down 30 ft deep to the ocean floor with 50 pounds of weights on one ankle, a huge swell pushing her back and forth above the sharp encrusted boulders on the ocean floor, with viper eels occasionally wrapping around her legs, holding her breath for minutes at a time, unable to see clearly without goggles, in freezing cold water at midnight with huge wild mantas of up to 15 ft wide brushing up past her. The skill, training and courage required to achieve this extremely challenging look was of the awe inspiring!

Shawn Heinrichs declares that this shooting was the most difficult he ever had to do. His team, composed of safety divers, 4 lighting engineers, surface security and photographs, had to deal with very hard conditions. Night dives in a strong surge, cold waters, poor visibility, mantas flying around a fragile environment and Hannah, whose life depended on her ability to find a regulator in the dark, with no mask on!

Watch the Making Of  "Mantas Last Dance", it's as stunning as the film!

The shoot is a key element in a conservation media campaign by WildAid and Shark Savers, working together on the project Manta Ray of Hope, aimed to raise serious awareness for manta rays leading up to an extremely important meeting in early March. The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meets every 3 years, and 177 member nations vote on whether to grant international protection to certain highly threatened and endangered species. After 3 years or incredible effort, manta rays are finally on the voting ballot. Now is the time put in place urgently needed protection.

We must act now to protect manta rays or they will be lost forever!

The message is clear – Yes! You can make a difference! We must act now to put a stop to the Manta gill trade and we can make this happen at the CITES meeting in early March. Sign the petition, asking these governments to vote in favor of manta ray conservation

© Shawn Heinrichs Blue Sphere Media / Music by Terra Naomi "If I could Stay". You can download it on iTunes here