The United Nations is putting back its deadline for Pacific islands states to define their sea boundaries precisely.
Peter Cozens, an analyst with the Centre for Strategic Studies in Wellington, says the UN's original deadline for submission on co-ordinates of sea boundaries was August 2006.
Mr Cozens says that date's been postponed for at least a couple of years.
The news comes after talks at the Asia-Pacific Security roundtable held in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, this week.
Peter Cozens says the delineation would help countries prevent foreign fishing vessels from exploiting loosely marked fishing areas.
"It will give clarity to what an individual state can exercise its jurisdiction over, on the one hand, but on the other, it gives individual states the opportunity to actively and more readily quantify those resources that come within its jurisdiction."