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Endangered sawfish caught in Florida

500-Pound Sawfish Captured Off Fla. Coast

A Florida man and his friends reeled in a rare catch Sunday morning while on a fishing trip in Boynton Beach. But WSVN says this fish put up a bit of a fight. According to ABC, Dustin Richter and his friends weren't even planning to go out fishing that morning. But now they sure are happy they did. The sawfish is pretty aptly named. Its long snout features razor-sharp teeth on either side, closely resembling a saw. The fish use their snouts to dig through the ocean floor or cut their prey in half.

But sawfish are currently listed on the endangered species list.

National Geographic says the sawfish was added to the list in 2003 and became the first U.S. marine fish to receive such protection. At that time, the sawfish population had already dwindled to just 5 percent of what it was when Christopher Columbus came to the New World in 1492.

The National Wildlife Federation says the sawfish are most likely dying out because it's very easy for their saw-like snouts to get tangled up in fishing nets. Their snouts are then dried and sold as an ingredient in folk recipes for asthma in some countries.

But calling Sunday's catch "rare" might not be accurate, considering two other sawfish have been caught in Florida in the past two months.

WFXT reports"A group of friends catching a sawfish in North Fort Myers ... The group catching this 6 1/2-footer sawfish right off the banks of the Caloosahatchee River."

And Florida Weekly reports biologists captured a 15-foot-long female sawfish in April at the Ten Thousand Islands off the coast of southwest Florida. The sawfish was tagged before it was released.

Richter and his friends also released their sawfish back into the ocean after reeling it in.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
john May 27 2014 at 7:31 AM

I'm really glad these guys did the right thing and notified the fish and game dept and had this fish tagged and released right away.. some people out there would not have realized that the sawfish is very very endangered and need to be left alone , I was born and raised in Florida / south Florida , and I have seen my fair share of great fishing over the years , and from 30 -35 years ago to now the waters off the coast of Florida have been abused and fishing just not the same as many years ago, not as many fish and shellfish as there was back then and I'm afraid if we all don't get it right our kids and grand kids for sure won't see the things we did when we was younger , so again its great to hear that others do the right thing for our environment and waterways ...

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7 replies
bilhee May 27 2014 at 8:17 AM

Good for you guys!!!!!..Catch and release, especially endangered species

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4 replies
James May 27 2014 at 8:02 AM

And they still have photos as proof they caught it! They did the right thing...

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calicomike May 27 2014 at 8:22 AM

Can't you idiots leave politics out of a fish story?

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3 replies
Spencer and Andy May 27 2014 at 7:30 AM

Hurrah fr them for doing the right thing.

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1 reply
topspin360 Spencer and Andy May 27 2014 at 9:39 AM

Most fisherman follow the rules because they want the population to stay healthy. The commercial fisherman kill a lot of fish because of the net that is used.

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2 replies
goodgrief61945 topspin360 May 27 2014 at 1:29 PM

Their nets are legal and needed, if you want to eat fish. Unfortunately, there's always going to be some unwanted fish killed in the process.

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cinismax topspin360 May 27 2014 at 1:52 PM

Happy they do now-20-30 years ago did not I dated someone who was an angler and they spent hours bringing them in for tournaments- happy they quit most of that--hated it.

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bgehr11272 May 27 2014 at 8:17 AM

I am happy they released the fish

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ZMAN May 27 2014 at 8:37 AM

I'm amazed how they know how many of these fish were around in Columbus days.

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6 replies
impalarss May 27 2014 at 8:17 AM

This is a good fish story. Thank you for sharing your catch and thank you for releasing this interesting sawfish. Florida fishing is so amazing.

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mvnup May 27 2014 at 12:49 PM

Another endangered species is the middle working class of America.

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2 replies
cinismax mvnup May 27 2014 at 1:53 PM


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ga7smi mvnup May 27 2014 at 5:20 PM

already extinct

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fullyscottish40 May 27 2014 at 7:34 AM

500 lbs? that's alot of sushi!!!

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2 replies
rwilliamhoward fullyscottish40 May 27 2014 at 11:06 AM

but YOU probably wold not want to EAT it.

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Stopp HUFF news fullyscottish40 May 27 2014 at 11:55 AM

Stupid remark from the same type person

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