Texas Game Wardens discovered nearly 400 whole shark fins, and over two dozen pounds of shark meat inside of a commercial freezer at a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas on April 13th, 2022.
According to a 2016 story by the Texas Tribune, Governor Greg Abbott signed into legislation penalties of up to $2,000 for buying or selling the fins, and it's illegal to serve shark fin soup in Texas. It's said that some fishermen cruelly cut the fins off of sharks before throwing them back into the water to die in a practice called "finning." The fins are then sold to places like China, where they're worth a pretty penny.
The question is: Was the restaurant serving shark fin soup illegally, just selling the fins for profit or both?
Whatever the case, it doesn't look like they're going to get away with it now. Catching an entire shark legally requires a license, and there isn't a good reason to have those fins in a commercial restaurant if there isn't something, well...fishy going on.
It's also alarming that the state of Texas accounted for roughly half of the U.S. shark fin exports in 2015 before the ban was placed by Gov. Abbott. That's a really embarrassing statistic for our great state.
Here's to hoping that the game wardens continue pursuing fishermen and restaurants alike that care about profit and personal gain more than the other creatures we share the world with. Sharks play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the ocean by removing sick and weak species from the ecosystem. If you ever accidentally catch a shark, please return it safely to the water before returning to your business.