Endangered Florida Fish



Smalltooth Sawfish
Smalltooth Sawfish
Photo credit: Andy Murch


Smalltooth Sawfish
Pristis pectinata


To begin: what is a Fish?

A fish is an aquatic vertebrate (has a backbone)

that is cold blooded, has fins, breathes through gills

and may be covered with scales.


One of two in the US, the Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish

was added to the ESA in 2003 and is its only marine animal.


This species, which historically evolved from Sharks,

 now more closely resembles the Rays and can be found

primarily in the shallow waters of Coastal Florida.

Smalltooth Sawfish
Smalltooth Sawfish
Photo credit: David Iliff


Sawfish numbers have rapidly declined due to the usual,

overfishing and entrapments in nets and lines.

Another important factor in their decline,

is their difficulty in reproducing.

Smalltooth Sawfish
Smalltooth Sawfish
Photo credit: Andy Murch


Sadly this rare species has been, like African Elephants,

killed for a body part to be hung on a wall by hunters.

It is now illegal to take one or harm a Smalltooth Sawfish,

as they are finally protected.

Newborn Smallttoth Sawfish
A newborn Smalltooth Sawfish, about 2.5 feet long
Photo credit: Gregg Poulakis/FFWCC


But, their numbers have been reduced by 99%.

Can they recover?

Is it too late?

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, here is a YouTube of them to enjoy:

Smalltooth Sawfish


The use of this sign kindly permitted by: Gregg Poulakis/FFWCC


Places to learn more:


Defenders of Wildlife

Smalltooth Sawfish



Smalltooth Sawfish


Environment News Service

Florida Fish Expert Tries to Save Last Sawfish



General Information


Smalltooth Sawfish Species Profile


Florida Museum of Natural History


Sawfish Links

Sawfish News

Smalltooth Sawfish


IUCN Red List

Smalltooth Sawfish


Lab Spaces

Endangered Sawfish


Mote Marine Laboratory

News Update for Sawfish



EBay Bans Sale of Endangered Sawfish


National Geographic

Sawfish First Sea Fish on U.S. Endangered List



Smalltooth Sawfish

Smalltooth Sawfish - Endangered


Ocean Conservancy

Smalltooth Sawfish


Science Daily

Endangered Billfish

Endangered Sawfish

Sharks Face Extinction

Sharks in Peril


Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Decline in Florida's Reef Fish


Smithsonian Marine Station - Ft. Pierce

Smalltooth Sawfish


University of Florida

Conserving the Smalltooth Sawfish

UF Museum of Natural History

Sawfish Questions



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Last edited September 11, 2022

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