Lucio III, Eddie
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 04/15/2015
UPDATE: BILL BANNING SHARK FIN TRADE PASSES SECOND HOUSE FLOOR READING
AUSTIN -- Rep. Eddie Lucio III filed a bill earlier this session that would prohibit the sale, trade, purchase and transportation of shark fins in the State of Texas. House Bill 1579 was heard on the House Floor today and was passed to third reading. If passed on third reading, the bill will be sent to the Senate for deliberation. This bill would stop Texas from contributing to the declining shark population in the Gulf of Mexico. Rep. Lucio is working with the Humane Society and Oceana to pass this legislation.
"This bill is aimed at stopping poachers from profiting at the expense of our ecosystem,” Rep. Lucio said. “Protecting our sea-life has become a critical issue in today's society. We need to prevent our marine life from being harmed."
Rep. Lucio is working with Katie Jarl, Texas State Director for the HSUS, on this legislation. Rep. Lucio and Ms. Jarl want to end Texas' role as a trade hub for shark fins.
"Sharks are the top predators in our waters and serve a vital purpose within that ecosystem," said Rep. Lucio. "Shark-finning is an inhumane act banned on the Federal level, but we have to make sure Texas is not encouraging that illegal act by restricting what can be done with those fins."
If passed, Texas would become the tenth state to crack down on the cruel and unnecessary shark fin trade. Similar legislation has been enacted in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon and Washington as well as in the U.S. Pacific territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Marianna Islands. The Humane Society, Oceana, Discovery Channel, The Aquarium of Houston, and the Sierra Club all support House Bill 1579.