AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Game Wardens are filing several misdemeanor charges on 10 restaurants and markets in the Houston and Dallas area for selling shark fins and shark fin products, Texas Parks and Wildlife reported.
The charges, which are being filed in both Harris and Dallas County, are the result of an investigation involving several businesses allegedly participating in the illegal commercialization of fins from various shark species.
TPWD’s special investigations unit and game wardens from both counties executed multiple search warrants which led to evidence seizures.
Additionally, Harris County game wardens are wrapping up an investigation from December 2019 that resulted in misdemeanor charges on multiple retail and wholesale fish dealers in the Houston and Seabrook area. During that investigation, about 30,000 pounds of shark carcasses were found to have been sold and several hundred pounds were seized by wardens.
In a statement released Wednesday, Law Enforcement Director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Col. Grahame Jones said protecting the species residing and migrating through the Gulf of Mexico is one of TPWD’s “highest priorities.”
“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,” Jones 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.”