Have you taken a moment to consider why such a thing as a whaling industry even exists? Do you eat whale? Are buying lots of whale and dolphin-based products? Whale candles? Dolphin burgers? Not really, huh?
Here we have another form of intelligent life on this planet (though we direct all our resources towards contacting space) and we still slaughter thousands and thousands of them every year.
It's pretty baffling.

Last year, surfer/activist Dave Rastovich was feeling pretty baffled himself, so he attended the International Whaling Commission's annual meeting — not to protest, not to point fingers — to simply find out exactly what was going on behind the closed doors of the global whaling industry.

By the time he left, there was no question which side of the issue he was on. "They're basically just getting together and handing out death warrants in there," {{{recalls}}} Rasta. "Deciding how many thousands of whales and dolphins each country can slaughter each year based on the figures provided by their own paid scientist. And then they go out and they don't even stick to those numbers."

From his stint aboard the radical anti-whaling pirate ship Sea Shepherd to his peaceful paddle-out protest of the annual dolphin/whale massacre in Taiji, Japan, Rastovich has spent his entire year working for the cause of whales and dolphins through his organization Surfers for Cetaceans. And now, the S4C crew have spent the last month trekking down the coast of Chile speaking with local officials, schools and fishermen to find out what might be a solution to the local whaling and environmental issues (OK, and scoring a few of those famous lefthand points along the way). They've also spent their time in Chile gathering more photo-signatures for S4C's year-long visual petition: four massive banners featuring the faces of people who oppose the whaling industry. Over 11,000 of them, including such notable faces as Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and oh, there's too many more to even name.

Now, Rasta and the S4C are delivering their petition and its powerful message behind it to the International Whaling Commission's annual death sentence party, held this year in Santiago, Chile, where they hope to raise awareness and make their message known. Joined by international surf stars like Joel Parkinson, Dane Ward, Chris Del Moro and Crystal Thornburg, as well as Chilean pros like Ramon Navarro and Cristian Morello (not to mention hundreds of surfboard-toting Chilean surfers), S4C and the united front of the surfing community is poised to make a radical statement to the IWC in Chile.

"We're not expecting them to stop right away," says Rasta, "but we want them to know that we're not going to stop either."

Get day to day updates of the S4C's IWC protest and Chilean tour at www.chiletour2008.com
find out more about the issue at www.surfersforcetaceans.com
sign the visual petition at www.visualpetition.com

Also, stay tuned for the SURFING's Green issue, where we'll follow the whole trip down the coast and get the full story behind Rasta's cetacean-saving campaign.