South Korea has told the International Whaling Commission (IWC) it plans to resume hunting whales for scientific research.
Defending the controversial plan to outraged conservationist nations and environmental groups at the meeting, South Korea told delegates from 59 countries that whaling has long been part of the country's history and culture.
The Asian country is still to detail how many whales it intends to kill under the proposal.
Conservationists called South Korea's plan cruel and outdated.
Claire Bass from the World Society For The Protection Of Animals said: "(we) believe that there is absolutely no need to kill whales in the name of science.
"That all that we need to find out about whales can be done using non-lethal means. So, this is a big step backwards for the (IWC) that another country has decided to start doing this wholly unnecessary and extremely cruel practice."
Whale meat remains very popular in parts of South Korea with critics saying the country is using the IWC's loophole of "scientific research" for commercial exploits.
An international moratorium on whaling has been in place since 1986, but Japan exploits the loophole allowing whaling for scientific purposes to justify its annual hunt.