First record of the freshwater sawfish, Pristis microdon, from southwestern Australian waters

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 2 years ago

INTRODUCTION – Sawfishes (family Pristidae) are large (up to 7m) modified batoids with a blade-like snout edged with pairs of rostra I teeth. They occur worldwide in sub-tropical and tropical shallow coastal sea, estuaries and freshwater systems (Last and Stevens 1994; Compagno and Last 1998). There are between five and seven recognised species worldwide, with five species represented in Australian waters (Last and Stevens 1994). Sawfish populations have been extirpated from many parts of their original global range by gillnetting and trawling and are easily entangled in nets by their toothed rostra (Simpfendorfer 2000). The little that is known about the biology of sawfish suggests they have low rates of reproduction (Tanaka 1991; Compagno and Last 1998; Wilson 1999; Simpfendorfer 2000; Thorburn et al. 2004). This combined with their susceptibility to fishing gear, make sawfish a high risk species and all have subsequently been listed globally as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List Assessment 2006 (Compagno et al. 2006).

Author(s) Justin A. Chidlow
Records 23 : Part 3
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