Sanford is supporting the creation of the world's largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea near Antarctica - the fishing grounds for the controversial Antarctic toothfish - provided tougher rules are enacted for vessels catching fish near the 2.27 million sq km proposed reserve.
The Auckland-based fishing company is pushing for changes, including minimum safety standards for boats working in the area and the requirement they have strengthened hulls to cope with sea ice.
Vessels should also meet standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council for the toothfish fishery, the firm said.
Sanford managing director Eric Barratt said the protected area would significantly reduce available fishing grounds, so the rules for approvals, numbers and operation of vessels must be strengthened.
The protected area, a joint New Zealand-US proposal, could be passed in July at a special meeting of the Commission for Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The "no-take" area would be six times the size of New Zealand and the firm would seek support from "like-minded" fishing companies to lobby their Governments to back the move.