Meet our Sawfish

Posted on Posted in Life Support System (LSS), Oceanarium, Saltwater Fish

Hi! I’m a Large Tooth Sawfish from Manila Ocean Park! ☺

This fascinating creature may be seen happily gliding over your head at our Oceanarium’s tunnel. It has been with us since 2009 when it was still a juvenile to help educate the young ones about this rare species. As mesmerizing as it may seem, the sawfish are one of the MOST endangered fish in the ocean and they need our help. Learn more about these magnificent creatures and how you can lend a hand!

Is it a shark? Is it a ray? What is the saw for?

The sawfish is a member of a group of fish called elasmobranchs, whose skeletons are made of cartilage. Other members of this group are sharks, skates, rays, and chimeras. Sawfish have a body similar to sharks and has a long, toothed nose or “saw” called a rostrum. Sawfish use their rostrum to locate, stun, and kill prey as well as for defense.

A large tooth sawfishes can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh up to 1,300 pounds. They can live up to eighty years and eats mostly fish, crustaceans and mollusks.

Because of their strange and prehistoric looks, the sawfish used to be in demand for anglers as a popular trophy fish and as tourist souvenirs. The degradation of their habitat and overfishing resulted to the decline of their population and landed them on the endangered species list in 2003.

Sawfish are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation due to their entanglement in nets, restricted habitat, and their low reproduction rate.  There are five species worldwide and all of them are in deep trouble.

To help out in sawfish conservation, support the Sawfish Conservation Society (SCS) to:

* Inform and educate the public about the threatened sawfishes found across the globe.

* Provide an environment to encourage cooperation between researchers, fishers, aquarists and other marine stake holders, in order to maximize research and conservation efforts

Find out more about how our sawfishes are protected at:

https://www.facebook.com/ProtectAfricasSawfishes

http://sawfishconservationsociety.org/

Let us be more responsible in fishing and protect critical sawfish habitats like mangroves for the continuity of sawfish recovery in the Philippines.

If caught, sawfish should be returned to the water as carefully and quickly as possible, and never lifted out of the water or dragged to shore. Report any sawfish you see to authorities and teach others about the need to treat these rare fish with special care. ☺

Manila Ocean Park’s banner CSR program is called “I LOVE MY OCEAN PLANET” . A campaign that encourages volunteerism, public education and community mobilization activities designed to increase public awareness and action on coastal management issues and instil pride in our country’s natural resources. It is an expanded responsibility of stewardship not only with marine biodiversity but also with other creatures who are dependent on the wellness of the ocean.

Manila Ocean Park is fully aware of its obligation to reach a broad public and impart necessary information relevant to current environmental issues. It is our aim that the “Back to the Wild” Release program will be a step in the right direction for marine education and conservation. We hope that more people will do their share in ensuring the future generations will be able to enjoy and see these fascinating animals in their natural habitat.

11 thoughts on “Meet our Sawfish

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