Shark Girl

Her small toes kissed the white, hot, soft sand and her small eyes glistened reflecting the ocean’s waves. At eight years old, this was Hannah’s first time seeing the ocean, and that day would never escape from her fondest childhood memories. Years later, at twenty years old, Hannah stood on a wooden ocean dock awaiting the test for her scuba certification. She was beyond excited and nervous, but either way she knew that there was no other place in the world besides this wooden dock, where she belonged. This moment had been long awaited and once the test was up, it was time to dive with sharks. Precisely this was never actually Hannah’s goal, but shortly after she received her scuba diving license, she found herself on a boat with shark fanatics. It was not excitement, but rather fear, which overtook her, as images from the Hollywood movie Jaws popped into her head, she became sure that she would not make it out alive. Hannah was still a rookie and she had suspected she would be diving with dolphins, or some bigger fish, but now, suddenly the crew was telling her she would be diving with sharks! She felt panicked, but there was no way to get out, so she waited.

This dive was meant to be like any other, but this dive changed Hannah’s life forever. She pushed herself off the side of the boat and the water wrapped around her like a blanket. She looked around to find herself surrounded by great big, beautiful creatures that swam as fast as a bullet out of a gun. These animals took no notice to Hannah, but she noticed them. Their beautiful silhouette and the way they swam around each other. All of the pictures and all of the books in the world could not have prepared her for this moment: the moment she came face to face with a shark. These animals were nothing like what the movie Jaws had shown them to be. They were sweet like puppies, not the vicious monsters that most believe them to be. Everything around Hannah mesmerized her and that day Hannah unlocked a passion, which had always been alive inside of her, burning to get out. Ever since the day her small feet hit the sand for the first time, the ocean had been calling her home.

 

Hannah remembers the fear that she had and  

understands that most people are scared of sharks. For the sake of the ocean and the species of sharks, Hannah wants to change the way people think of sharks. Her main tool is her camera and the beautiful photography she captures during her dives. The beautiful silhouette of a shark, the bright red colors of a starfish, the violence of a wave, she captures within a single shot of the camera. The beauty of Hannah’s photography will cause you to fall in love. Because when you look at Hannah’s photos you really can feel the stormy sea, and you really can see the beauty of a shark, and you really can be enchanted.

 

When Hannah returned to school to study Marine Ecology she realized that the ocean is in great danger, which has inspired her to become a loud voice for marine conservation. Founding her own social media network Beneath The Blue with the main goal of educating others about marine conservation.

 

But why exactly does the ocean need our help?

Every year 100 million sharks are killed for shark fin soup and it isn’t only sharks that are suffering either, overfishing and pollution has ruined the quality of the ocean. An ecosystem is a very fragile thing and the damage that is being done to marine life is astronomical. When you look at Hannah’s beautiful photos, you want to help make the ocean a cleaner environment.

  1. NEVER eat shark fin soup or buy shark products!!!
  2. Try not to consume seafood!
  3. Reduce plastic!

Just by following these three rules, you can drastically reduce your impact on the environment.

For those such as Hannah who are helping to change the world, we all owe a great thanks to. For our environment and planet is irreplaceable.

 

 

Check out Hannah on Instagram here!

Visit Beneath the Blue gallery here!

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