Have You Seen A Sawfish?

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Copy of email



From: Niall Byrne [mailto:niall@scienceinpublic.com.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 8 January 2019 1:40 PM
To: 'qafca@bigpond.net.au'
Cc: 'Barbara@saw.fish'
Subject: Have you seen a sawfish?


Dear Queensland Amateur Fishing Clubs Association,


Could your members help us find out what’s happening to sawfish?


I’m writing on behalf of Barbara Wueringer, the director of Sharks and Rays Australia (SARA). She wants to hear about your sightings – a live fish, a saw on the wall of your local pub, or a photo from your family album


Forty years ago, sawfish were regularly seen off Sydney and the east coast, and Perth and up the west coast. Today they’re rarely seen outside of the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT and the Kimberley .

Your sightings, no matter how long ago they happened, will help us work out how many sawfish there used to be, how many remain, and how we can help them recover.


Here’s a copy of a media release we’ve issued about the call to action. You can report sightings and find out more about the project at Please login or register to see this link. .


We’re also discussing the project on social media @SharksAndRaysAu, where we’ve shared some footage of sawfish hunting.


Kind regards,





Niall Byrne


Creative Director

Science in Public    

82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood VIC 3015 

0417 131 977

Or call the office on 03 9398 1416

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Thanks @rayke1938. I have logged my one and only sighting. It was on a magical early morning with gin clear water at the mouth of one of the rivers on the western cape. It was like an aquarium that morning with big schools of bait fish being chased by trevally and other predators right in close to the shore. There were some small sharks in the mix as well and then this 3 metre sawfish just cruised around in the shallows in front of me. Just magic.

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I don't know if they are getting their species mixed up but Sawfish are a sub tropical/tropical species and as far as I know were never caught off Sydney.

There is a smaller version down this way called a Sawshark and they are found right along the coast to well below Sydney.

I caught a few over the years in the trawl gear down on the Mid North Coast area and they are only small fish compared to the northern Sawfish.


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I saw two in the Ord River when I lived in Kununurra.  One a reasonably small one at about 1.5m all up including saw, the other one was absolutely massive, the saw itself would have easily been well over 1m long.  Such a cool fish, watched the big one smashing into schools of mullet in the shallows.

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wow! that must have been an awesome site!

I did an ad up in the daintree a long time ago and had to build up some rock platforms for the actors to stand on. I got to snorkel in this stunning creek for about 4 hours. No Sawfish but the jungle perch were think. They loved it when I moved the rocks and uncovered the food for them. 

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