ESR 21:171-180 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00513

Distribution, relative abundance and risks from fisheries to threatened Glyphis sharks and sawfishes in northern Australia

I. C. Field1,2, B. J. Tillett2,*, R. Charters1, G. J. Johnson3, R. C. Buckworth3,4, M. G. Meekan5, C. J. A. Bradshaw6,7

1Research Institute of the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory 0909, Australia
2Australian Institute of Marine Science, PO Box 40197, Casuarina MC, Northern Territory 0811, Australia
3Fisheries, Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, GPO Box 3000, Darwin, Northern Territory 0801, Australia
4Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Marine and Atmospheric Research, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia
5Australian Institute of Marine Science, c/o UWA Oceans Institute 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia
6The Environment Institute and School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
7South Australian Research and Development Institute, PO Box 120, Henley Beach, South Australia 5022, Australia
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Glyphis sharks and pristid sawfishes are globally threatened. While some populations still exist in northern Australia, their distributions are poorly quantified. We used catch records from commercial fisheries and independent surveys to estimate the broad distribution and relative abundances of 2 Glyphis sharks (G. glyphis and G. garricki) and 4 pristid sawfishes (Pristis pristis, P. zijsron, P. clavata and Anoxypristis cuspidata) along the coast, estuaries and river systems of the Northern Territory, Australia. Coarse-scale catch data and records from commercial fishing logbooks that report encounters with Threatened, Endangered and Protected species confirm that small, fragmented populations are distributed across the Northern Territory coastline and suggest limited fishery interactions, although underreporting might occur.


KEY WORDS: Sharks · Habitat · Fishing · Conservation · Management · Pristis spp. · Anoxypristis spp.


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Cite this article as: Field IC, Tillett BJ, Charters R, Johnson GJ, Buckworth RC, Meekan MG, Bradshaw CJA (2013) Distribution, relative abundance and risks from fisheries to threatened Glyphis sharks and sawfishes in northern Australia. Endang Species Res 21:171-180. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00513

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