Japan and Norway blocked an International Whaling Commission resolution that would give the United Nations greater authority over whaling, a controversial practice that is still protected by both nations.

Species issues in general are not a matter for the General Assembly but for competent fisheries agencies, Norway's representative to the IWC, Ole-David Stenseth, said at a commission meeting in Panama City on Friday.

Frederic Briand of Monaco, sponsor of the resolution, said a great part [of U.N. members] share our concern that the stocks of highly migratory animals should be taken care of in coordination among all concerned countries, according to Agence France-Presse.