New Zealand has been unsuccessful in its fourth bid to turn the Ross Sea into a Marine Protected Area.
The New Zealand and United States proposal was rejected at a Conservation of Antartic Marine Living Resources meeting in Hobart on Friday.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Murry McCully, said the proposal aimed to balance environmental protection with sustainable fishing and scientific interests.
Mr McCully said it was disappointing an agreement was not reached, but it was always going to be a challenge.
He said New Zealand would try again and continue to work with others to protect the Ross Sea region.