Russia's Western Bering Sea pollock fishery has provisionally met the requirements for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the first major hurdle for bringing tens of thousands more metric tons of certified whitefish to global markets.

In a public comment draft report released Friday, certification group Lloyd's Register determined the fishery met basic requirements of the MSC standard, though it cautioned that some areas require improvement plans.

Though the amount varies, research estimates have shown roughly 40 percent of Russia's overall pollock harvest comes from the Western Bering Sea-Navarinsky area.