Ten Texas restaurants and markets in the Houston and Dallas area were charged with illegally selling shark fin products—including fins from several protected shark species.
Officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department seized several hundred pounds of shark fins from the businesses.
“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,” said Col. Grahame Jones, Law Enforcement Director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in a statement.
Shark fin soup has been banned in Texas and many other states and countries around the world.
January 31st marks the day three years ago when the world lost celebrated filmmaker and biologist Rob Stewart during a tragic scuba diving accident.
Rob was a Hero; an activist for the sharks and an advocate for the oceans; a friend to many, brother, son, uncle, yogi.
Rob Stewart dreamed of seeing a #finfree world and he has been credited for saving one-third of the world’s sharks since the release of his 2006 award-winning film Sharkwater.
In 2018, Rob’s close friends and family completed his final film Sharkwater Extinction, which he was in the midst of filming on that day in 2017.
Since the film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, it has won 47 awards around the world and continues to score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
In 2018, using footage Rob shot for Sharkwater Extinction, the California Legislature passed a bill to ban drift net fishing, which killed not only sharks, but sea turtles, whales, sea lions and many more marine mammals.
In 2019, the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation was formed to continue his mission. The Foundation launched the SharkFree campaign to work with cosmetic and personal care product companies in an effort to remove shark liver oil, known as squalene, from their products.
As of 2019, Canada banned the import and export of shark fin. Canada was the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia.
In January 2020, New Jersey became the latest state to sign a law banning the sale of shark fins. More than 85 countries have banned shark finning, and the U.S. has banned the sales of shark fin in 17 states and territories.
CITES votes to protect Makos in 2019, as well as 18 species of rays and sharks by adding them to their endangered list. The warm-blooded Makos are the fastest sharks in the world.
In November 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which would prohibit the sales of shark fins, and the bill has moved on to a vote in the Senate.
Together, we have done so much, but the fight to save the world’s sharks continues.
Sharkwater Extinction demonstrated how shark ingredients have been introduced into our everyday household cosmetics, pet food and fertilizers. The Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation continues to work to keep sharks off the shelves, and out of our cosmetics.
Rob partnered with many people and groups in his quest to save sharks and we know he was deeply grateful for all your support. Thank You!
If Rob’s work inspires you, please join us at the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation. Together, we will bring more positive changes.
For a limited time LUSH has brought back their popular Shark Fin Soap for World Oceans Day. The blue wave-shaped bars adorned with a shark fin cost just 5.95 and are available across North America. This limited edition soap sells out quickly, so shop now in Canada or the U.S.
100% of the proceeds from LUSH’s Shark Attack and Healthy Oceans campaigns will go to support shark conservation, facilitating shark fin bans globally, and save the world’s oceans.
An estimated 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year – that’s over 11,000 every hour. Cruel and careless practices such as longline fishing have led to a 90% drop in shark populations in just 30 years – an unsustainable rate of decline that is turning apex predators into ghost stories and having a decimating impact on our oceans’ ecosystems. Many sharks are used for various products we don’t even realize contain shark, and more still are mutilated for their fins and then tossed back into the water to suffocate or be eaten alive. Now is the time to turn the tide on the demand for sharks – to stop consuming products that use sharks, and to call for a worldwide ban on all longline fishing and the possession of shark fins.
Take the pledge to join this effort to #SaveSharks, stop the #SharkAttack, and go #FinFree today:
Now Available on Amazon Prime and Crave TV!
Sharkwater Extinction saw its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, debuting to a standing ovation.
The inspiring documentary follows his journey to expose the massive illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it, which is leading to the decimation of sharks in our oceans. It also unveils the fact that endangered sharks are being added to many of our everyday products, even those intended for human consumption.
Rob Stewart was in the midst of completing his third and final film, when he tragically passed while diving off the Florida Keys in January of 2017. Friends and family of Rob made it their mission to complete the film and honor his legacy.
The film has gone on to win 28 awards, in 40 festivals and continues to win more across the globe.
Be sure to check out the inspiring documentary, which is jam-packed with action and adventure, as it follows Rob Stewart’s eye-opening fight to save sharks. It’s now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes, and other streaming platforms, including Crave TV in Canada and Amazon Prime in the United States, Germany, Japan and more. It’s coming soon (July 21, 2019) to Amazon Prime in Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. ~Emily Chavez