Rasta's epic paddle to battle seabed mining
PROFESSIONAL Byron Bay surfer, Dave Rastovich, has completed the final leg of a 350km paddle up the west coast of New Zealand's North Island.
The surfer and environmentalist set himself the challenge to raise awareness of a proposal to introduce seabed mining along the island's west coast.
Mr Rastovich, who has previously made waves with his activism to protect whales and dolphins, culminating in a controversial protest surf circle at Japan and his Minds in the Water documentary, began the paddle at Cape Egmont, south of New Plymouth on November 16 and stepped onto the sand of Piha, north of Auckland, on Saturday.
"I've been travelling up the coast slowly, hoping to draw people's attention to the coastline," Mr Rastovich said.
"Altering seafloors will affect fisheries, toxins will be released into the water and create dead zones wherever there is mining.
"If they take this iron ore out of the sand, it's an absolute mystery what will happen after dead zones are created."
Mr Rastovich said seabed mining would also put at risk the critically endangered Maui dolphin in the region's waters.