Wellington – An international push to create a giant marine sanctuary in Antarctica has received a big boost after the US and New Zealand resolved their dispute over fishing.

The two countries on Monday submitted a joint proposal for a Ross Sea reserve to the international organisation thatAntarctic marine reserve gets boostregulates fishing in Antarctica. They’d earlier submitted competing proposals which stood little chance of success.

Both countries have touted an Alaska-sized sanctuary but previously couldn’t agree on fishing rules and boundaries. New Zealand boats catch toothfish in the region, which are marketed as Chilean sea bass.

The 24 nations and the EU are currently meeting in Australia and will likely decide on the proposal later this week. The details of the compromise won’t be made public before then.