In support of KASM (Kiwis Against Seabed Mining), pro surfer & activist David Rastovich, paddled 350km from Taranaki to Piha west of Auckland, New Zealand over two-weeks beginning Nov16th to draw awareness to issues to do with proposed seabed mining.
Rastovich, a co-founder of global group "Surfers for Cetaceans" (S4C), united with KASM advocates to engage local communities, educate and inspire others to action throughout the epic journey.
- The entire west coast from Whanganui to Cape Reinga is under either a prospecting or exploration permit to mine iron sands from the seafloor.
- Large scale seabed mining, as is proposed, will leave massive oceanic dead zones, could ruin fisheries, affect surf breaks, exacerbate existing erosion problems, change beaches and reintroduce toxins which are currently stabilized in the sea floor.
- Foreign owned mining companies are looking to extract billions of tonnes of iron sands for export to Asia and pay just 1-5% of the value of the resource in royalties to the NZ Govt.
- Very few jobs would be created for coastal residents as operations are entirely water based.
- Much of the permitted area is a direct overlay of the only habitat for the critically endangered Maui's Dolphin. With just 55 dolphins remaining, seabed mining would make extinction of the species a certainty.