Costa Rica is eyed as a sawfish research venue

Costa Rica

A species in steep decline (Photo by Shutterstock)

Over time and with little public notice, the sawfish has been disappearing in Latin America and around the world. Three of the five sawfish species—the largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and green sawfish (Pristis zijsron)—are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN lists the other two species—the narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata) and the dwarf sawfish (Pristis clavata)—as endangered. In Latin America, the largetooth sawfish inhabits Pacific waters from Mexico to Peru, while the smalltooth variety is found in Caribbean waters. But experts say sawfish in the region have become scarce overall, and worldwide are only seen with regularity in the waters of Australia, New Guinea, the Bahamas and the U.S. state of Florida. An IUCN sawfish report issued in 2014 concluded sawfish are “arguably the most threatened family of marine fishes in the world,” and said... [Log in to read more]

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