Japan has led a walk-out at the International Whaling Commission to block a vote for a sanctuary in the South Atlantic.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals says the proposal put forward by South American countries, was about to be voted on.
At that point, Japan and 20 other countries stood and left the room, leaving the meeting without a quorum, which meant a vote could not be taken.
The society says that breaking the quorom to block a vote shows a complete disrespect for the democratic process.
The proposal for the sanctuary has been put on hold until next year's meeting of the commission.