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21/10/2016 7:06 AM AEDT | Updated 21/10/2016 2:04 PM AEDT

Mick Fanning The Conservationist: First Look At His Expedition To Alaska's Bristol Bay

"I'm completely in awe of this place."

Mick Fanning Joins Wild Ark Trip to Alaska from wildark on Vimeo.

Mick Fanning has spent most of his life outdoors, such is the luck of a world champion surfer.

So it comes as no real surprise that he's passionate about preserving the world around us and the environment that has given him so much.

Now, in his first big move since his break from surfing, he's teamed up with Australian conservationists 'Wild Ark' in their endeavour to save some of the world's wildest places.

"Connecting with nature and the outdoors has always been core to my every day," Fanning said.

This past month the surfer headed to Alaska's Bristol Bay in his first expedition with the group.

"I'm completely in awe of this place and the animals that inhabit the Bristol Bay watershed," Fanning said.

Kirstin Scholtz

In the video above and in images shot by WSL photographer Kirstin Scholtz and exclusively provided to The Huffington Post Australia, Fanning joins founder of 'Wild Ark' Mark Hutchinson, in exploring the 74,000 square km of pristine Alaskan wildness, which is also under threat from a proposed open pit gold and copper mine, known as Pebble Mine.

"I'm baffled that parts of the state are constantly under threat of open pit mining. The mining companies refer to the land in Alaska's southwest as "desolate", Fanning said.

"Well, after camping, hiking, fishing and flying over this zone I can tell you it is the opposite of desolate. This place is alive!"

Kirstin Scholtz
This is Mick's first expedition as Global Ambassador for 'Wild Ark'.

Bristol Bay is the largest supplier of salmon in the world, affecting both the local economy and ecosystem. But in the face of an estimated $400 billion mineral mining opportunity the locals have had to fight hard to put the viability of future generations ahead of short-term financial gains.

"Basically you would be taking this wild, pristine place that serves as a salmon factory to the world and sacrificing it for one-time use mineral extractions," said Tim Bristol of SalmonState Alaska, an organisation that promotes good laws policies and practices to ensure that Alaska remains the home of the greatest wild salmon fishery in the world.

"There is enough copper in the world, we need to do more recycling and frankly, we don't need this gold," he said.

Kirstin Scholtz
It is estimated that the proposed Pebble Mine will produce between 2.5 and 10.78 billion tons of waste that will have to be treated and managed forever.

This was Fanning's second trip to Alaska's Bristol Bay after surfing its icy waves earlier this year.

"There is no guarantee that mining in this area wouldn't have a negative impact on the waterways disrupting the salmon run and causing a massive collapse to the Alaskan and global ecosystem," Fanning said.

"It is definitely not a risk worth taking."

'Wild Ark' is a modern conservation movement. They're on a mission to save the world's wild places. To find out more about the work their doing or to get involve, head here.

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