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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 34:229-234 (2017)  -  DOI:

Sawfish (Pristidae) records along the Eastern Amazon coast

Leonardo Manir Feitosa1,*, Ana Paula Barbosa Martins2, Jorge Luiz Silva Nunes3

1Laboratório de Genética e Biologia Molecular, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Cidade Universitária do Bacanga, 65080-805 São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil
2Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
3Departamento de Oceanografia e Limnologia, Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Cidade Universitária do Bacanga, 65080-805 São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Sawfishes are the most endangered cartilaginous fishes on the planet. Their external morphology facilitates entanglement in fishing nets and their K-selected life history hinders the recovery of exploited populations. The Eastern Amazon coast (EAC) is known to be an area where sawfishes occur in Brazil, but few studies have been conducted in the area to better understand their biology and ecology. The present study reports sawfish captures along the coast of Brazil’s second largest state. Data were collected from interviews with fishermen, a literature review, and media reports. In total, 23 captures were recorded between 1984 and 2016. Records include adults, a pregnant female with near-term embryos, juveniles, and young-of-the-year specimens. Most catches were reported in the Canal do Navio, an area under strong human pressure. Sawfish saws are valuable items and, for many anglers in precarious economic and social situations, high market prices eclipse the fishing prohibitions laid down under federal laws. Urgent research is required to understand sawfishes’ life history, identify their critical habitats, and effectively manage and conserve these species along the EAC.

KEY WORDS: Sawfish · Pristidae · Artisanal fisheries · Conservation · Amazon coast

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Cite this article as: Manir Feitosa L, Barbosa Martins AP, Silva Nunes JL (2017) Sawfish (Pristidae) records along the Eastern Amazon coast. Endang Species Res 34:229-234.

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