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Sharks

Texas Gov. Signs Shark Fin Ban Into Law

posted: 06/22/15
by: Danny Clemens
Shark fins in water
4X-image/iStock

Texas is officially the 10th state in the U.S. to ban the trade of shark fins. Over the weekend, Governor Greg Abbott signed H.B. 1579, which will now recognize acts "relating to the sale and purchase of shark fins or products derived from shark fins" as a criminal offense.


Sponsored by Texas Democrat Rep. Eddie Lucio III (and heavily supported by his father, Senator Eddie Lucio), the bill goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

"Sharks are the top predators in our waters and serve a vital purpose within that ecosystem," Rep. Lucio told The Humane Society of the United States earlier this year. "Shark finning is an inhumane act banned on the Federal level, but we have to make sure Texas is not encouraging that illegal act by restricting what can be done with those fins."

According to ocean conservation organization Oceana, the Texas fin trade has grown by 240% in the past five years. Texas is the first Gulf state to ban the trade of fins; it joins California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington, which already have similar bans in place.

Learn more about shark finning:

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Sharks of Palau: Shark Finning
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