Conservation Photography: First Place
All species of sawfish are critically endangered and face extinction as the result of habitat loss and overfishing. The global population of sawfish has fallen to less than 10% of their historic levels and they have been lost from 80% of their range. Sawfish are easily caught as bycatch due to their easily entangled rostra. This specimen was pulled from Fort Lauderdale Beach by a lifeguard and was found floating in the water amidst swimmers and beach goers. It is unsure why this sawfish was killed but it was definitely at the hands of a human. Perhaps it was frustration at having a damaged net. Perhaps it was purposely kept for its meat. Perhaps it was lack of education about how rare and vulnerable a species it was. Whatever the reason for the death of this amazing creature it was due to human causes. The wound was fresh and the animal had not entered decomposition yet. Looking around we saw no boats or evidence of fishing activity. We called FWC and covered the body for examination by a sawfish expert.
Marine Biology | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology