Story at a glance

  • The species live in tropical seas and estuaries off the Atlantic Ocean and can be found in shallow, coastal waters.
  • “The 16-foot sawfish...is the longest measured by scientists since research began on the species,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a Facebook post.
  • The smalltooth sawfish was the first marine fish to receive protection as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in 2003.

A huge smalltooth sawfish that may be the longest ever measured by researchers recently washed ashore in the Florida Keys. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced last week a 16-foot female weighing somewhere between 800 and 1,000 pounds washed up on a beach at Cudjoe Key. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


It was one of two large sawish that washed up dead in the Florida Keys last week, with the second found at Marvin Key measuring at more than 12 feet and weighing between 400 and 500 pounds. 

“The 16-foot sawfish...is the longest measured by scientists since research began on the species,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a Facebook post

“There was no obvious cause of death for either sawfish; however, valuable life history information was and will continue to be collected from both carcasses,” the post said. “Sawfish biologists are working to learn as much as possible from samples they collected.” 

The sawfish was found with “eggs the size of softballs” in her reproductive tract, Live Science reported. 

The species live in tropical seas and estuaries off the Atlantic Ocean and can be found in shallow, coastal waters, although they do enter the lower reaches of freshwater river systems. 

The smalltooth sawfish was the first marine fish to receive protection as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act in 2003. Their populations have dropped due to coastal development and accidental capture in fishing nets, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

JAPAN WILL START POURING TONS OF TREATED RADIOACTIVE WATER FROM FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR PLANT INTO THE SEA

NEW REPORT SAYS ORCAS, SALMON AND BLACK BEARS AT GRAVE RISK AS AMERICA’S RIVERS IN HISTORICALLY BAD SHAPE

WESTERN STATES ON VERGE OF WORST DROUGHT IN MODERN HISTORY

ALASKAN GLACIER HAS STARTED MOVING 50 TO 100 TIMES FASTER THAN NORMAL, SCIENTISTS SAY

RARE ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHED ALIVE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE WILD


 

Published on Apr 13, 2021