BOSTON — Millions of pounds of lobster caught by Massachusetts fishermen are shipped to Canada for processing — mostly because a decades-old law prohibits the meat from being prepared locally.

Legislation set for a vote in the state Senate today, Jan. 21, would lift those restrictions, opening what some in the industry say is a multi-billion dollar market for processed lobster, in one of the few areas of the commercial fishing industry that is thriving.

The proposal sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr of Gloucester allows for the processing and sale of frozen, in-shell lobster parts in the state.

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