AQUA NEWS

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED LONGCOMB SAWFISH CAUGHT BY FISHERMEN AT PAK-IRAN BORDER

Three species of sawfish, the Knifetooth (Anoxypristis cuspidatus), large tooth (Pristis pristis) and largecomb (Pristis zijsron), have been reported in Pakistan. However, due to overfishing and habitat degradation, the population of sawfish has decreased substantially and they are now considered to be nearly extinct at the local level. According to sources, the sawfish had been caught after about 30 years in the area. According to WWF-Pakistan official, the sawfish fishing area in Pakistan were Jiwani, Gwadar, Pakistan-Iranian border (Gwater Bay), and Indus Delta, especially Khajar Creek. For its conservation, IUCN listed all sawfish species as ‘Critically Endangered’. Sawfish are also included in Appendix 1 of CITES which prohibits any commercial trade in those species. Both the Sindh and Balochistan Govt. had enacted laws banning the catching, marking and sale of sawfish in the respective provinces.