- 03 December 2012 | Surfing
David Rastovich has successfully paddled 350 kilometers (217.4 miles) up the West Coast of New Zealand, to draw awareness to the seabed mining proposed for the region.
The 32-year-old surfer and eco-activist began the paddle at Cape Egmont, on the 16th November, and arrived in the sands of Piha, north of Auckland, on December 1st.
"Just to the south side of the Manakau inlet, I had a visit by about eight Maui's (dolphinS). They caught swells with me and escorted me to the very start of the inlet in really dangerous conditions", explains Rastovich.
"They really gave me the confidence to navigate that bar because there's some heavy water in that area, some of the heaviest water I've ever encountered".
David Rastovich believes that the mining will devastate marine eco systems, alter world renowned surf breaks and completely wipe out species such as the critically endangered Maui's dolphin.
"Seabed mining is something that will change this place forever. With so much at stake and with so many unknowns, it's a risk I don't think any New Zealanders should be willing to take," tells Rastovich.
"It's not too late,” he urged. "There is so much compassion in this community and in all the communities and groups we engaged with during our journey. All we need to do is harness that passion and we can protect this incredible coastline from the dangers of iron ore mining."