Action stars rally to save endangered dolphins

Tue, Apr 10

The campaign to save the planet's most critically endangered dolphin species received a surge of support last month as two of action sports' busiest environmental activists joined forces in New Zealand.

Billabong free-surfer Dave Rastovich and Dogtown skate legend Peggy Oki drew the proverbial line in the sand as the Maui's dolphin teeters on the brink of extinction -- a recent study says there are just 55 adults remaining -- calling on New Zealand's government to protect the marine cetacean's remaining habitat.

Dolphin deaths in fishing nets is the most serious impact on the Maui's, a subspecies of the critically endangered Hector's dolphin, according to information from the New Zealand's Department of Conservation and Ministry of Fisheries.

"It's great seeing Dave at that level of fame and sponsorship, helping out this way," says Oki, who recently headed up an effort to create banners from dolphin supporters' "visual petitions," photographic pleas to the New Zealand government uploaded to the campaign's "Let's Face It" website. These banners were presented on April 2 to government officials now weighing public input on the plight of the dolphins. Public comment on a proposed management plan closes April 11.

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