- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts lawmakers are considering an easing of some state restrictions on the lobster industry.

The Senate has approved a bill that would end a nearly two-decade-old ban on the processing and sale of in-shell lobster parts within the state.

Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr sponsored the bill. Tarr represents the key fishing port of Gloucester.

He and other supporters say changing the law would help lobstermen and lobster processors and provide more consumer choice. One change would allow retailers in the state to sell frozen, shell-on lobster tails.

Tarr says Maine’s lobster industry has benefited from a similar measure.

The 1997 Massachusetts restriction was intended to prevent mutilation of undersized lobsters and protect the state’s market for whole live lobsters.

The Senate bill was sent to the House.

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