[Coral-List] Have you seen a sawfish?
iucnshark at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 16:11:22 EDT 2011
I realise that this may be a bit off topic but I think some of you may have
some really important information to inform this project, but you just don't
know it especially if you live or work on or near sub-tropical or tropical
We need your help to protect sawfishes!
Sawfishes are one of the most threatened families of marine fishes in the
world. They were historically present throughout tropical and sub-tropical
coastal waters of almost one hundred countries around the Atlantic and
Indo-Pacific Oceans. Today, their global distribution is severely fragmented
with some populations potentially being extirpated. It is believed both
overfishing and habitat loss combined with a sensitive life history has
resulted in population declines greater than 90%. Consequently, all
sawfishes are currently listed as Critically Endangered worldwide by the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In an attempt to avert the impending extinction of this unique group of
fishes the IUCN Shark Specialist Group is spearheading the creation of a
Global Sawfish Conservation Strategy. Initially this will involve a Status
Review of all sawfish species through both a literature survey and an online
survey. We will then develop a set of conservation strategies through a
workshop to be held at the Zoological Society of London (May 2012) to
highlight focal areas and activities for sawfish conservation. Following
this workshop the Global Sawfish Conservation Strategy will be publicised
widely to have the greatest impact.
We would like to give you the opportunity to inform this initial Status
Review and to tell us about your interest in sawfishes and to share any
knowledge you may have. Many of you live and work in areas where sawfishes
may still be present or you may know someone else who might have further
information. We are looking for any formal and informal knowledge on the
- Current and historical distribution and threats
- Value of sawfishes – cultural, social, economic and ecological
- Protection or management status in your region
We welcome and greatly appreciate any information that you can provide, even
if it is only to confirm that sawfishes are no longer present.
To gather your interests and information we have created an online survey -
(http://iucnshark.wufoo.com/forms/sawfish-status-review/). This survey will
also enable you to submit any supporting documents, such as scans of
newspaper articles, reports and Word or Excel files. We are also looking for
photographs of sawfishes in the wild for publicity materials and the website
– full credit will be given if we use them. Please be as descriptive as
possible - dates, locations, supporting materials and detailed descriptions
are all very welcome!
During the survey you will be given the opportunity to be included in the
Sawfish Network mailing list. This list will be used to communicate the
findings of our work and news items on sawfishes, and also to facilitate the
discussion of conservation actions for sawfishes.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have
regarding this project – iucnshark at gmail.com.
Dr. Nicholas K. Dulvy – Co-Chair
Lucy R. Harrison – Program Officer
IUCN Shark Specialist Group
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
BC V5A 1S6
Have you seen a Sawfish recently? Do you have any information on Sawfishes?
Please complete our online survey: http://www.iucnssg.org/index.php/sawfish
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