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Specifically, the bill makes it illegal to sell, trade, buy or transport shark fins in Texas. It's a barbaric practice that's already banned federally, but state Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville) introduced the bill to close potential loopholes. The bill makes shark-finning a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail or a $2,000 fine.
The fins are used in the Douchebag Delicacy of shark fin soup, which, according to the Texas Tribune, sells for as little as $10 in several Texas restaurants, "but most of the fins are shipped to China, where a bowl of soup can sell for more than $100."
In an April press release, Lucio III said that "sharks are the top predators in our waters and serve a vital purpose within that ecosystem. Shark-finning is an inhumane act banned on the federal level, but we have to make sure that Texas is not encouraging that illegal act, by restricting what can be done with those fins."
The Humane Society of the U.S. backed the bill, and the Texas director of HSUS, Katie Jarl, told us, "We are thrilled that Texas is poised to become the first Gulf Coast state, and red state for that matter, to end their contribution to the global shark fin trade. This victory no doubt rests upon the shoulders of our lead House sponsor, Rep. Eddie Lucio III, and we hope Governor Abbott signs HB 1579 into law soon."