Japan Defies IWC, Resumes Commercial Whaling

Japan is dropping its membership in the International Whaling Commission (IWC), an international group composed of 89 member nations, and will resume commercial whaling in July, 2019.

      Although hugely disappointing, the decision comes as no surprise. Japan attended the 2018 IWC meeting in Brazil with the intention of persuading member nations to vote to drop the moratorium on commercial whaling and to resume the cruel, barbaric practice. Japan’s motion did not receive the required votes and was defeated.
     Japan alone is responsible for the slaughter of over 1,000,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the last 70 years. Whether this insane slaughter continues to this day, is difficult to ascertain due to limited publication of the facts. However, according to https://www.dosomething.org, the Japanese kill 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales every year. The slaughter of dolphins occurs in the  Taiji bay, which was made known to the world in the documentary film The Cove. Those cetaceans that aren’t slaughtered are sold to aquariums around the world. The going price for a dolphin is around $32,000 U.S.. When not conducting dolphin slaughtering events, “the fishermen also participate in harpoon hunts and small type coastal whaling for dolphins and pilot whales, as elsewhere in Japan, effectively ensuring that Japan’s dolphins are under almost year-round assault from these various hunting methods and seasons,” according to WDC in Action: “Dolphin Hunts – Focus on Taiji, Japan.” Some of these species are nearing extinction and cannot “come back.”
     The other galling issue with the Japanese sport of harpooning mammals, is that though they’ve been a member of the International Whaling Commission for years, they’ve still hunted whales during this time, often in waters set aside for whale sanctuaries. These animals have been slaughtered under the guise of “scientific research,” a lame loophole in the moratorium that allows limited whale hunts. Last year alone Japan slaughtered over 300 minke whales, 120 of which were pregnant. It’s no secret that much of the meat from the slaughtered mammals is offered on restaurant menus even though few Japanese eat whale meat nowadays.
     Many whale species like the blue whales, fin whales and sei whales have not recovered from earlier decimation, contrary to what the Japanese say.
     Kate O’Connell, AWI marine wildlife consultant, summed it up nicely when she said, “This cruel and unnecessary industry is a relic of the past that has no place in modern society.” Yet Japanese officials claim that hunting and eating whales is part of their cultural heritage. This seems a bit far-fetched for a country that prides itself on its “massaged, beer-fed Kobi beef.” There are no samurais running about the Japanese countryside anymore. Whaling is an activity of the past that caused several species to become extinct.
     It appears, by all accounts, that this whaling decision may be a matter of Japan “saving face.”
(Parts of this article are quoted from Saving Our Oceans, release date May 2019.)

Moonlight Mesa Announces Release of Two New E-Books

In a surprise move, Moonlight Mesa Associates publisher Becky Coffield announced  that two of the company’s nonfiction titles will be released as e-books very soon.

        SGA Cover Some Gave All, J.R. Sanders’ nonfiction account of Old West Lawmen Who Died With Their Boots On, will likely be in e-book format in January. “Converting this book without losing its design is a challenge,” Coffield said. “We positively do not want to lose the artwork and photos in the book. We’ve managed to get the file below 50MG, so it should work with Kindle, but the file is much too large for Smashwords, unfortunately.”

Although Kindle claims the bulk of e-book sales, Smashwords is a distributor to ALL E-BOOKS – every brand imaginable.

“We’ve been thinking of doing this for quite some time. Thinking is the easy part; doing is the challenge.”

Coffield’s big push is to have the e-book available in January. “This is just a wonderful book,” Coffield said. “But eliminating photos and such hurts. We eliminated photos in Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride because no e-book publisher could handle the size of the files back then. Hopefully they can do better now.”

E cover RowingMedThe other title Coffield is moving to electronic format is also undergoing a title change. The Old Folks in the Boat will be available also in January, under a new ISBN and title: Rowing for Health. The original title will be kept as part of the subtitle.

“We made a mistake choosing the title for the book,” Coffield admits. “We spent months – no, two years – throwing titles around. Seriously. I don’t know how that happened as much time as we spent talking about titles.”

Coffield feels that the book should be doing better than it is. “We didn’t expect a barn-burner with a niche book, and we’ve sold copies every month, but I truly think the book should be selling better. We talked about just re-issuing it under a new title and a new ISBN, but the thought of having to change the cover and headers and the uploads, it just exhausted me. That’s still a possibility, but I’d prefer not to go there – at least at this time,” the publisher said.

The e-book title will be Rowing for Health. The subtitle will be Inspiration from The Old Folks in the Boat. Like Sanders’ book, the number of photos in the electronic version of Rowing for Health could present a stumbling block.

Moonlight Mesa’s 2018 top-selling nonfiction, A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule,  is not destined for e-book conversion – at least at this time. The publisher will, however, release an e-book for Saving Our Oceans at the same time as the trade-paperback. “I expect better e-book sales with that title,” Coffield said. “I can’t tell you why. I just do.” Coffield plans to donate the money from sales to orca and ocean groups.

Why the Fuss over Whales?

orca photo

Most people on this planet will never see a whale. They might see one on the internet, but that’s not the same as seeing one in the flesh. That might be a bit similar to watching a roller coaster compared to being on the roller coaster. So why the fuss over animals most people will never see or encounter?

There are, remarkably, many people who feel their lives have been changed by their very first encounter with a whale in the wild. Once seen in the wild, seeing a whale in captivity is indescribably, deeply disturbing.

In 2018 I followed the IWC Convention (International Whaling Commission) very closely that was held in Brazil. According to the IWC, the purpose of the organization is to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.” The IWC is composed of 89 member governments from all over the world. It was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which was signed in Washington DC on December 2, 1946.

One of the major accomplishments of the IWC has been the effort to control, and eliminate, whaling. The group recognizes three type of whaling: aboriginal subsistence whaling, commercial whaling, and there is a special permit for “scientific whaling.” Most nations respect the moratorium that was placed on commercial whaling in 1986.  There are others who have defied the IWC’s regulations and have continued the inhumane, merciless slaughter of whales. Norway is one such country. Iceland and the Faroe Islands do likewise.

Unfortunately, Japan is one of these nations also even though they signed the moratorium. Japan, however, uses the “scientific permit” allowed for research as a reason for their slaughter, which is quite a stretch, having slaughtered over 333 minke whales this past year, including many juveniles and pregnant whales (some say 90%), along with whales living in a protected area of Antarctica. In the 2018 IWC meeting in Brazil, it was reported that Japan came highly prepared to present their argument to do away with the moratorium on commercial whaling. Many warn that lifting the ban could lead to the resumption of the practice of commercial whaling.

“The International Whaling Commission established the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1994. The sanctuary surrounds Antarctica and bans all types of commercial whaling in the area. There has been dispute over the legality of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, with Japan completely disregarding the outline and hunting under the false pretense of scientific research. It’s not at all surprising that there is little trust for the Japanese proposal of “self-policing and honest reporting” should the IWC overturn the moratorium on killing whales. Further, there is no way the Japanese can justify slaughtering 333 minke whales for “scientific research.” It’s no secret that much of the meat from the slaughtered mammals is offered on restaurant menus.

Kate O’Connell, AWI marine wildlife consultant, summed it up nicely when she said, “This cruel and unnecessary industry is a relic of the past that has no place in modern society.” Yet Japanese officials claim that hunting and eating whales is part of their cultural heritage. This seems a bit far-fetched for a country that prides itself on its “massaged, beer-fed Kobi beef.” There are no samurais running about the Japanese countryside anymore. Whaling is an activity of the past that caused several species to become extinct. Fortunately, Japan’s bid for ending the whaling moratorium was voted down by the required majority of the IWC members. Sadly, they will still continue the hunt under the guise of “scientific research.”

Although preservation of whales is currently a priority, several countries  continue to harpoon hundreds of whales a year.

SOOpc jpeg


From Chapter 4 Saving Our Oceans. Release date: May 2019

It’s time to save some whales!

In case you missed it –


100 orca and beluga whales are being illegally held in a bay near Nakhodka in Russia and are being sold to the Chinese for their booming ocean theme park industry in China. There are already over 60 marine parks in China, according to Alec Luhn of Moscow for The Telegraph (British paper).  The Chinese plan for at least a dozen more ocean parks.

Supposedly Russia is investigating this, but Russia is also believed to be the only country that exports orcas captured in the wild, according to Luhn.

Since the “jail” is quite small, this suggests that many of the captured orcas are babies. For every orca captured, however, at least another is killed in the process. Jailers don’t seem to care since an orca can fetch up to $6 million dollars.

This activity flies in the face of the 1982 moratorium against whaling: the only whaling allowed is for scientific purposes (that sounds quite lame) or for those with aboriginal “cultural” needs (another fairly lame sounding excuse taken advantage of by the Japanese who have killed over 1,000,000 whales and dolphins).

“Catching them at this tempo, we risk losing our entire orca population,” according to Oganes Targulyan, a Greenpeace Russia research coordinator.

Enough of this inhumane horrible activity. Perhaps if President Trump stood up for orcas like he has for his recent signing of the Save our Seas Act, he might gain a slew of caring supporters. As for me, I will write the president about this and, since I already boycott Chinese products, I’ll pass the information along to those who care enough to come up with their own plan to help right this incredible wrong.

Westerns, Whales and Oceans Welcome You.

This website is sponsored by and aligned with Moonlight Mesa Associates, a small publishing house  located in Wickenburg, Arizona. We’ve been a western book publisher for over 10 years, although we have published other genres also.

We are going through growing, and aging, pains right now as we broaden our horizons and our publishing interests.

We’re moving from fiction to nonfiction, and you will find new and forthcoming nonfiction titles here – but only “watery” titles. The profit from every “watery” book we sell is being donated to either the Ocean Foundation, the Ocean Conservancy, or the  Orca Conservancy.


We’re also dedicated to ending the cataclysmic catastrophe of plastic pollution in our oceans. These materials kill 1,000,000 seabirds a year, and over 100,000 marine mammals. We are passionate about whales, particularly orcas and humpbacks. We are dedicated to helping save the Southern Resident Pod of Orcas and keeping them from extinction.

You will find our westerns, water-related books and other genres featured on this website. We don’t have many water titles yet, but we’re in the process now of preparing for the publication of Saving Our Oceans, by award-winning writer, R.L. Coffield.

Here is one “watery” book we’ve published. Since the Moonlight Mesa Associates had an unexpected death, and who knows for how long, you’ll need to order from Amazon, or contact us directly via this blog. Once our website here is set up, you can do mail orders here also.

Learn how to build your own boat and take up rowing. You’re never too old to enjoy this sport!

The Old Folks in the Boat  is a great primer for beginners and older rowers.