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  S.B. No. 1839
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the unlawful sale or purchase of shark fins or shark fin
  products; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 66.2161, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 66.2161.  SALE OR PURCHASE OF SHARK FINS OR SHARK FIN
  PRODUCTS; OFFENSE. (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "Destroy" means, with respect to a shark fin, to
  denature the fin for the purpose of rendering the fin inedible.
               (2)  "Place of business" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 47.001.
               (3)  "Sale" includes barter and exchange.
               (4)  "Shark" means any species of the subclass
  Elasmobranchii.
               (5) [(2)]  "Shark fin" means the fresh and uncooked, or
  cooked, frozen, dried, or otherwise processed, detached fin or tail
  of a shark.
         (b)  A person may process in a place of business or
  restaurant a shark carcass into steaks or fillets only if:
               (1)  the steaks and fillets do not contain any portion
  of a shark fin; and
               (2)  each of the shark's fins is destroyed and discarded
  in the manner prescribed by the department immediately on detaching
  the fins from the remainder of the carcass.
         (c)  A person commits an offense if the person:
               (1)  fails to immediately destroy and discard a shark
  fin as required by Subsection (b) or otherwise violates that
  subsection;
               (2)  buys or offers to buy, sells or offers to sell,
  possesses [may not buy or offer to buy, sell or offer to sell,
  possess] for the purpose of sale, transports or ships [transport,
  or ship] for the purpose of sale, or advertises for sale [barter, or
  exchange] a shark fin regardless of where the shark was taken or
  caught; or
               (3)  violates a proclamation or rule adopted under this
  section.
         (d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under
  this section is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor.
         (e)  An offense under this section is a Class A Parks and
  Wildlife Code misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense
  that the defendant has previously been convicted of an offense
  under this section during the five-year period preceding the date
  of the trial of the current offense. 
         (f)  Each shark fin a person purchases or possesses for the
  purpose of sale in violation of this section constitutes a separate
  offense.
         (g)  For purposes of Subsection (c)(2), proof that the
  person possessed a shark fin, other than a shark fin that has been
  destroyed, in a place of business or restaurant or on any commercial
  vessel on the waters of this state is prima facie evidence that the
  person possessed the shark fin for the purpose of sale.
         (h)  For purposes of Subsection (c)(2), proof that the
  person advertised for sale a shark fin, a product containing shark
  fin, or a product represented to be or to contain shark fin is prima
  facie evidence that the person offered a shark fin for sale.
         [(c)  A person may buy or offer to buy, sell or offer to sell,
  possess for the purpose of sale, transport, or ship for the purpose
  of sale, barter, or exchange a shark carcass that retains all of its
  fins naturally attached to the carcass through some portion of
  uncut skin.]
         (i) [(d)]  Notwithstanding Subsection (c)(2) [(b)], the
  department may issue a permit for the possession, transport, sale,
  or purchase of shark fins for a bona fide scientific research
  purpose. Subsection (c)(2) does not apply to a person who
  possesses, transports, sells, or purchases a shark fin in
  accordance with a permit issued under this subsection.
         (j) [(e)]  When a person is charged with an offense under
  [violating] this section, the warden or other peace officer shall
  seize and hold [the shark fin] as evidence the shark fin, product
  containing shark fin, or product represented to be or to contain
  shark fin. Notwithstanding Section 12.109, on a final court
  ruling, the department shall destroy the shark fin, product
  containing shark fin, or product represented to be or to contain
  shark fin.
         (k)  The commission may adopt rules as necessary to
  administer this section.
         [(f)  A person may possess a shark fin if:
               [(1)  the person holds the appropriate state or federal
  license or permit authorizing the taking or landing of a shark for
  recreational or commercial purposes;
               [(2)  the shark fin is taken from a shark that the
  person has taken or landed; and
               [(3)  the shark fin is taken in a manner consistent with
  the person's license.]
         SECTION 2.  Sections 66.218(c) and (d), Parks and Wildlife
  Code, are repealed.
         SECTION 3.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act. An
  offense committed before the effective date of this Act is governed
  by the law in effect on the date the offense was committed, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of
  this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of
  this Act if any element of the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1839 passed the Senate on
  April 20, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1839 passed the House on
  May 6, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 131, Nays 2, one present
  not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor