Nearly 400 illegal shark fins were found in a Texas restaurant after officials developed a lead, despite the state’s ban on the sale and possession of shark fins.

Source: KSAT 12/Youtube

Texas game wardens pursued a lead about possible illegal shark meat at a restaurant in 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 Parks and Wildlife Department, told The Washington Post that most of the fins came from blacktip sharks, which are common in the Gulf of Mexico. Oceana, a conservation group, says that these sharks are not endangered like most of the other shark species, but it still does not make this ok.

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

Shark finning is an absolutely cruel practice. Live sharks are caught and have their fins cut off before they throw the rest of the animal back into the sea, where it slowly dies a traumatic and painful death. Shark fins are the main ingredient in shark-fin soup which is very prevalent in China and Hong Kong.

According to Oceana, an estimated 73 million sharks annually are murdered and used in the global trade for this product. A 2018 study on Marine Policy found that the hunting of sharks for their fins has led to population declines of as much as 90 percent.

The findings were in part thanks to their four-legged helper, Bailey, who sniffed out the shark fins along with sea turtle shells, red snapper, dove, and oysters.

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

Over 400 sharks had to die for the meat that this restaurant had, which is unacceptable. Endangered or not, we do not have the right to use and abuse these sentient animals as we please. Activists and conservationists have been lobbying for Congress to pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act to close the markers 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 the sharks!

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