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She's No Mermaid. Meet ‘Shark Shepherd', Created For A Petition To Save Sharks In Malaysia

Keeping Malaysian waters safe with this novel idea to change people's perceptions about the majestic "beasts" of the sea.

Cover image via buzzfed.com

Benjamin Von Wong, who labels himself as 'photographer and visual engineer’ has created this modern-day fairytale character to petition for shark sanctuaries in Malaysia

With his ability to think outside the box when he shoots, he uses a fusion of special effects and natural beauty to come up with amazing hyper-realistic pictures.

He sheds light on how important sharks are in generating more income to Malaysia's economy and at the same time, preserving Mother Nature's gift of life to us

Von Wong (left) and model Amber (middle)

Image via Benjamin Von Wong

Travel and ecotourism being a huge contribution to Malaysia's economy, people often come to swim among the corals and would pay big bucks for that thrill factor to swim among sharks and big fish, according to a survey among divers.

In Malaysia alone, an average of 149,000kg of sharks fins are exported per year

Sharks are a keystone species and are responsible for the health of ocean ecosystems. They eliminate the weak, the diseased and the dead, maintaining the ecological balance and the future health of the ocean.

change.org

In an attempt to save sharks in Borneo where his parents are from, photographer Benjamin Von Wong shot some stunning pictures with model Amber Bourke to show how beautiful and peaceful sharks are

Image via Von Wong

Amber Bourke, who is one of Australia's best national free divers looked breathtaking (no pun intended) while posing for as long as she could underwater.

Together with Shark Stewards, an organisation dedicated to curbing the shark fin industry and opening sanctuaries, he urges people to sign this online petition if they want to keep the sharks alive

He wrote that it is to "prove to governments and organizations that travelers have a tangible interest in seeing sharks alive."

change.org

Photographer Von Wong could only work when the sharks came out to play. "Over the course of three days, we waited over six hours." Thats why timing was everything in this shoot.

...we only had a tiny two-hour window every day, between 11 AM and 1 PM, where the sharks would be active and light rays visible.

vonwong.com

You'd probably freak out if these sharks came near you in real life. But Von says that they’re like curious squirrels in a park.

These white tiped reef sharks dart around her like a "curious squirrel" and would "hover around us curiously only to scamper off if anyone got too close", according to Von Wong during the shoot.

“Hoping to get the sharks in perfect position, our entire team tried their best to hug the walls and not make any sudden movements to not startle the timid creatures.”

WATCH the video of what went down during this shoot as well as some words from the photographer on his vision:

Von Wong needs 7,500 signatures and only has over 5,000 so far. If you want Malaysian waters to be full of marine life, not endangered species fighting for survival, sign the petition show your support for our sharks!

These magnificent creatures have been around for 400 million years, let's hope they live for millions of years more

Image via Jati Putra

Is shark fin soup really worth consuming this CNY? It may be more harmful to your body than you think:

Malaysian photographers are insanely capable of taking award-wining photographs. Take a look at their stunning work:

Much to our embarrassment, this Malaysian dive resort caused an outrage recently for harassing marine life

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