Texas Game Wardens are filing Class B misdemeanor charges on 10 restaurants and markets in the Dallas and Houston areas for selling shark fins and shark fin products.
"Protecting the many shark species residing and migrating through the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the illegally trafficked sharks from around the world, offered for sale in Texas is one of our highest priorities," Colonel Grahame Jones, Law Enforcement Director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said. "Texas Game Wardens will continue to proactively work investigations related to illegal shark fin products and violations against the many species of wildlife found throughout the state."
The charges are being filed with the Dallas and Harris County District Attorney's offices and stemmed from an investigation involving several businesses allegedly participating in the illegal sale of fins from various protected shark species.
The latest news from around North Texas.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Special Investigations Unit and game wardens from the Dallas and Houston areas executed search warrants that led to evidence seizures in both cities.
Harris County game wardens are also concluding an investigation from December 2019 that resulted in Class A and Class B misdemeanor charges on multiple fish dealers in the Houston and Seabrook area.
The charges include possession of a shark without the fins and the unlawful commercial sale or purchase of aquatic products. During the investigation, about 30,000 pounds of shark carcasses were found to have been sold and several hundred pounds were seized by wardens.
All charges are being filed through the Harris County District Attorney's office.