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.
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