WATCH: Man Catches Rare, Endangered Sawfish While Fishing Off Cocoa Beach

By  //  April 20, 2022

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sawfish have been protected in Florida since 1992

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – A British man reeled in a rare sawfish while aboard the Fin & Fly Fishing Charters that sailed out of Port Canaveral on April 9.

The charter boat was in about 35 feet of water, about a quarter-mile off the coast of Cocoa Beach.

Their long saws, referred to scientifically as “rostrums” or “rostra” are easily entangled in any kind of fishing gear.

Sawfish rostrums have also been popular trophy items. Since these fish produce few young, it has been a challenge for their population to recover after being depleted.

As a result, sawfish have been protected in Florida since 1992 and the smalltooth sawfish is currently listed as endangered under the United States Endangered Species Act.

Sawfish rostrums have also been popular trophy items. Since these fish produce few young, it has been a challenge for their population to recover after being depleted. (Port Canaveral Twitter image)

They should be released unharmed if accidentally caught while fishing for other species. It is important to note that sawfish rostrums should never be removed.

Very little is known about this spectacular fish, so scientists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute initiated a research program to learn more.

They are asking for help from the public via the Sawfish Survey. This statewide survey provides a means for anglers, boaters, and beach-goers to help biologists learn more about the areas in which sawfish are sighted.

To file a report of a sawfish sighting or encounter, please include the date and time of the encounter, the location, the estimated length of each sawfish, the water depth, and any other relevant details.

If you catch a sawfish while fishing for other species or happen to see one while you are near the water, please email Sawfish@MyFWC.com or call 941-255-7403 or 844-472-9347 (1-844-4SAWFISH).

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