Sawfish

(Pristis spp.)

Saagvis, saw fish

1. What is it?

Sawfish (Pristis spp.) are slow growing, late-maturing, large fish found in warm, shallow coastal waters over a sandy or muddy bottom as well as estuaries. They are extremely sensitive to over-fishing and habitat degradation. Two main species found in South African water, namely the largetooth sawfish and the green sawfish are listed as Critically Endangered on IUCN’s list for threatened species. Both species are specially protected in South African water and fishing of any kind is not permitted.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Sawfish are fully protected species therefore no one may catch, sell or buy them in South Africa.

3. Where is it from?

Current distribution of sawfish is uncertain due lack of reporting, mis-identification and contraction of its range. They are under threat of extinction worldwide and countries need to work together to ensure their recovery.