TX-Bans-Shark-Trade-530x530-300x300Texas has banned trade in shark fins, which could have a major impact on the controversial practice of killing sharks just for their fins to be used in upscale Chinese cuisine.

Though the Lone Star state is only a minor supplier of shark fins worldwide, Texas had become a major center for this trade in the US after several other states such as California, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon banned the practice.

Oceana, an advocacy for saving marine life, estimated that Texas had seen a 240 percent increase in its trade of shark fins since other states had banned shark finning.

“We have calculated that Texas was responsible for exporting about 50 percent of the remaining shark fin exports that were coming out of the United States. It had become a hub of shark fin trade in the U.S.,” said Amanda Keledjian, a marine scientists for Oceana told Reuters.

It is illegal to amputate shark fins while fishing in US waters, but the export and import of the fins can still take place in US states that have not banned the practice, Oceana reported.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the measure into law this past weekend; it will go into effect in July 2016.