Nearly 400 illegal shark fins seized from Texas seafood restaurant

Nearly 400 illegal shark fins have been found in a Texas restaurant after authorities developed a lead, despite a state ban on the sale and possession of shark fins.

Source: KSAT 12/Youtube

Texas game wardens have been pursuing a lead regarding possible illegal shark meat at a restaurant in the San Antonio Seafood Restaurant. In a heartbreaking discovery, they found 381 whole shark fins and an additional 29.2 pounds of shark fin meat in a commercial freezer.

Kevin Winters, a game warden with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, told the Washington Post that most of the fins come from blacktip sharks, which are common in the Gulf of Mexico. Oceana, a conservation group, says these sharks aren’t endangered like most other shark species, but that’s still not acceptable.

According to a Facebook post from the Texas Game Wardens, no arrests have been made and the case is still pending against the owners of the restaurant. All of the shark fins were seized as evidence.

Shark finning is absolutely cruel. Live sharks are captured and their fins are cut off before the rest of the animal is thrown back into the sea, where it slowly dies a traumatic and painful death. Shark fins are the main ingredient of shark fin soup which is very common in China and Hong Kong.

According to Oceana, approximately 73 million sharks are killed each year and used in the global shark trade. A 2018 marine policy study found that hunting sharks for their fins has led to a population decline of up to 90%.

The discoveries were partly thanks to their four-legged assistant, Bailey, who sniffed out shark fins as well as the shells of sea turtles, red snapper, dove and oysters.

Finning is illegal in US waters, but the practice is still allowed in other places. Although it is illegal to fish for fins in the United States, the shark fin trade is not. 13 states, including Texas, have banned the sale and possession of the products.

Over 400 sharks must have died for this restaurant’s meat, which is unacceptable. Endangered or not, we have no right to use and abuse these sentient animals as we please. Activists and conservationists have been pushing for Congress to pass the Shark Fin Sale Act to shut down terminals in the United States for the global shark fin trade. Sign this petition to tell Congress to reintroduce and pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act to save sharks!

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