Ocean Conservation (& Mermaids)
There is a strong and growing trend regarding mermaids, and it is closely tied in with Ocean Conservation.
Mermaids have in recent decades taken on more and more of the role of ambassadors for ocean preservation, ocean conservation and the prevention of marine pollution, over-fishing and anything else that contributes to endangering marine species.
This makes sense of course - who better to stand up for protection of marine life than someone from the ocean who is able to articulate and communicate, and who is adored by millions? Mermaids to the rescue.
So while there is a growing trend of mermaiding (which essentially encompasses everything that involves wearing ... and often swimming in ... a mermaid tail), there is also a growing trend within the mermaiding community to be active in protecting and preserving endangered marine life, giving new purpose and meaning to the mermaiding activity.
Mermaids are certainly not alone in pushing for ocean preservation, but they do bring a unique perspective and appeal which definitely can contribute significantly to achieving results.
The trend arguably started in 2003 with Hannah Fraser who has been extremely active in promoting mermaiding and in conservation efforts.
Hannah Fraser was inspired to a large degree by the 1984 film Splash starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah (as the mermaid), and has since 2004 been campaigning against overfishing, culling of whales, dolphins and sharks, ocean pollution, the shark-finning trade and the hunting of manta rays for their gills.
Hannah’s efforts contributed directly to preventing an Australian Government cull on tiger sharks, and to getting manta rays put onto the worldwide endangered and protected species list.
Hannah was part of the 2010 Academy Award winning documentary film The Cove about dolphin hunts. She starred in the 2013 short film Betrayal against humpback whale hunting, and also in 2013 starred in Manta’s Last Dance, which was instrumental in convincing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to protect manta rays.
The documentary Great White Shark: Beyond the Cage of Fear was also produced in 2013, with Hannah in the lead role as a mermaid swimming with white sharks.
What started as a passion for Hannah has become a calling and a crusade - one that has had her swimming with whale sharks, manta rays, tiger sharks and white sharks to highlight the importance of these species and dispel misconceptions and complacency in protecting them.
Hannah is continuing to promote protection of the oceans and the life in them, raising awareness of endangered species and continuing to educate on their value and the importance their have in the ocean eco system and the ramifications it will have for mankind if this eco system is destroyed.
Many other professional mermaids have taken up the same mission of Ocean Conservation, including Mahina Mermaid (Kazzie Mahina), Mermaid Kat (Katrin Gray) and Mermaid Linden Wolbert, to name a few. An excellent article on this was posted by Molly at Everything Mermaid.
The Mermaid is a 2016 Chinese movie by Stephen Chow which clearly takes a completely different approach, but it is still a mermaid carrying the message of ocean preservation and an end to pollution of the seas. It is a romantic comedy/fantasy/drama, and one might be tempted to dismiss its influence - but as of 2017 it is the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time and very definitely resonated with movie-goers.
These sites – and especially the people behind them – contribute in their own way to raising awareness and to taking effective action.