Meet and Greet with Sawfish Experts in Everglades City

During the 20th century, the population of smalltooth sawfish in the United States experienced a significant decrease in numbers and range due to overfishing, habitat loss, and limited reproduction. In response, NOAA Fisheries listed the U.S. population of smalltooth sawfish as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act on April 1, 2003.

At the time of the listing in 2003 scientists knew little about the biology, ecology, and population dynamics of smalltooth sawfish. Over the last 20 years, scientists from multiple agencies, universities, and organizations have collaborated to research the smalltooth sawfish population in the United States. We now know more about their size and age at maturity, the number of young they give birth to, the food they eat, their large- and small-scale movement patterns and habitat use, and their response to a variety of stressors. This research greatly improved our understanding of the species and helped us prioritize the actions needed to reach recovery as quickly as possible.

To celebrate the progress made over the last 20 years and to share the plight of this endangered species with the public, we invite all to a meet and greet with sawfish experts on March 31, 2023 6-8 pm at the Ivey House in Everglades City, Florida. We’ll air a short sawfish documentary created by John Anderson with Terramar Productions, answer questions about sawfish research and management, and give away some free sawfish swag.

While we have achieved a lot over the last 20 years, there is still work ahead in recovering the population of smalltooth sawfish in the United States. NOAA Fisheries has a Recovery Plan that lists actions necessary to rebuild the population and some actions specifically require help from the public, so come join us and see how you can become involved!

If you catch or see a sawfish, please share the information with scientists by visiting www.SawfishRecovery.org, calling 1-844-4SAWFISH, emailing sawfish@myfwc.com, or using the FWC Reporter App.

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