Shark Finning Bill Passes House

The Texas House of Representatives passed a House bill that would ban the sale, trade, purchase and transportation of shark fins in the state, and the bill now will go to the Senate.

The practice of finning -- catching a shark, cutting off its fin, and releasing it back into the water, where it sinks and dies -- is already banned federally, but State Rep. Eddie Lucio III entered the bill to help cut out the existing loopholes.

WFAA reports that "Lucio said the Texas shark fin market has grown by 240 percent since 2010, when a number of states started cracking down on shark fin traders. Nine states have already banned the trade...leaving Texas to pick up much of the slack."

Lucio's bill would make buying or selling fins a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, or 180 days in jail. (The fins are primarily used in soup, sold at outrageous prices to outrageous d-bags).

It's important to note that this bill has been here before; Lucio's 2013 shark-finning bill died in a Senate committee, after Senatory Larry Taylor flip-flopped.

We're hoping that, in this case, the second time's a charm.

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Contributor Craig Malisow covers crooks, quacks, animal abusers, elected officials, and other assorted people for the Houston Press.
Contact: Craig Malisow