A compromise proposal to end the 25-year ban on commercial whaling while improving protection measures afforded to the marine mammals collapsed this week at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Agadir, Morocco.
Many NGOs were quick to point blame at Japan, which uses a loophole to hunt whales for "scientific purposes". Australia went as far as suing Tokyo at the International Court of Justice over the issue.
Delegates at the conference agreed to think about a new approach to, hopefully, reach a common ground on the future of whales.
Inside Story, with presenter Nick Clark, in a show produced in Agadir discusses why the IWC failed to agree on this thorny issue in its 62th conference.
Joining the programme are Ole Samsing, the special adviser at the Danish ministry of foreign affairs, who is dealing with arctic affairs including whaling, Glenn Inwood, the spokesman for the Japanese delegation to the IWC, and Nicolas Entrup, the managing director of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, June 27, 2010.