Protest Heard Around the World
NZ-born pro surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich led an international protest over Japan’s commercial slaughter of dolphins in November, gaining significant media coverage for his cause. Rastovich, a free surfer for Billabong, is a co-founder of the charity group Surfers for Cetaceans. He led a traditional surfing paddle-out ceremony at Japan’s notorious “killing cove” in Taiji, to honour the memory of the thousands of dolphins killed there each year. “In surfing culture, it is customary to hold this type of ceremony to show respect to a surfer who has lost his or her life,” he says. “These dolphins, truly the original surfers, are our ocean brothers and sisters and deserve to be remembered and honoured in the same way.” Rastovich was joined by actresses Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and Isabel Lucas (Home and Away), pro surfers Karlie Mackie, James Pribram, Karina Petroni and Jaymes Triglone, and a group of Japanese surfers from Save Japan Dolphins. The protest earned massive media exposure after arrest warrants were issued in Japan for Panettiere and Lucas, as well as for others in the group.