Texas is the now the 10th state to prohibit the sale, trade, purchase and transportation of shark fins. H.B 1579 (Lucio, D-District 38), will ensure that Texas no longer contributes to the trade in shark fins and will reduce the nation’s contribution to the global decline of shark species.
“This is a another great show of US support for protecting sharks,” said David McGuire, Director of Shark Stewards and supporter of this and other state shark fin trade bans.’We are showing the world that sharks are important for the health of our ocean, that many species are threatened with extinction by the shark fin trade, and the practice of shark finning must stop.”
“Gov. Abbott’s signature on this legislation makes Texas a true leader in shark conservation since the Lone Star State is now the first along the Gulf Coast to take meaningful action to protect our sharks. We are grateful to the overwhelming number of Texas legislators that voted in favor of this bill and for our House champion, Rep. Eddie Lucio III,” said Katie Jarl, Texas state director for The Humane Society of the United States.
“Shark finning is not only an inhumane and illegal act, but it also puts the sustainability of our marine ecosystem at stake, said Representative Lucio. “This law will prevent profiting from this heinous practice, and I want to thank to members of the legislature and Gov. Abbott for understanding the critical role that sharks place in our ecosystem.”
Motivated by grassroots support in Texas Shark Stewards helped introduce shark fin legislation in Texas in 2013 with HSUS. Killed by special interests, that bill failed to pass the Senate. HB 5179 with the same language as the previous bill was reintroduced in 2015 by HSUS with Oceana and other supporters. Similar legislation has been enacted in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington, as well as in the three U.S. Pacific territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.