This International Sawfish Day we are delighted to acknowledge 501(c)(3) nonprofit @savingtheblue, who recently launched a project to help these endangered rays.
Sawfish (family Pristidae) are among the world’s most threatened marine fishes. They are a small group of batoids (rays) usually occurring in shallow, coastal habitats in tropical and subtropical waters including estuarine and freshwater habitats. All five species face a very high risk of global extinction based on severe declines in their numbers and geographical distribution over the past century. This perilous status is due to commercial and recreational fishing mortality, primarily as by-catch, combined with the loss of critical near-shore habitat due to coastal development and low reproductive potential, making the species vulnerable to anthropogenic effects. Most notably among Pristidae, the smalltooth sawfish is potentially at greatest risk because it has the smallest and most fragmented remaining geographic range. Historically found in the waters of 47 Atlantic nations, the smalltooth sawfish is now considered extirpated from 26 countries, presence uncertain in 16, and extant in only five.
If you’d like to learn more, please follow @savingtheblue as they explore, and develop their research efforts to help these beautiful, and charismatic animals.