By Meredith Yeomans | NBC DFW
△ Shark Fin Soup, picture not specific to the article.
Texas Game Wardens are investigating two Plano businesses for illegal possession of shark fins.
The wardens were asked to visit several restaurants in North Texas, including JS Chen’s DimSum & BBQ in Plano, at the request of the Aminal Welfare Institute in Washington D.C.
They were asked to look into the possible illegal possession of and/or sale of shark fins for shark fin soup.
Shark fin soup is a traditional ceremonial dish in the Chinese culture.
Shark fins are considered some of the world’s most expensive seafood and high demand for it supports a worldwide black market, according to an email from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division.
At the first establishment they visited, the wardens said they did not see shark fin soup on the house menu.
But, after inquiring about the dish from the hostess, they were given a special menu that included the shark fin soup, according to the TPWD.
The press release states, “The wardens acted skeptical about the authenticity of the ingredients.
The restaurant manager came over and assured them the shark fin soup was the real deal, and to prove it he escorted them to a walk-in freezer. Hidden in the back of the freezer tucked behind several other items were six gallon-sized bags of frozen shark fin soup.
The restaurant manager also informed the wardens that the supermarket next door sold shark fins in their fresh seafood department.
With that information, the wardens made a visit to the supermarket where they discovered six incomplete shark carcasses for sale in the display case. The wardens asked to speak to the store manager and found him in a walk-in freezer trying to remove a box containing several other shark carcasses. During a search of the freezer, wardens discovered more shark carcasses.”
In all, 38 incomplete shark carcasses were seized. The cases are pending.