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"Saving Sawfish" - 6/25, 8:30p ET - online viewing party & chat with sawfish experts!

JulieAnnJulieAnn Posts: 3 Greenhorn
Hello! I just wanted to share with you that we'll have new episode from marine science doc series Changing Seas about endangered sawfish research in Florida. It airs online Wed., June 25 at 8:30pm ET. We'll have a live online viewing party, where you can chat with sawfish experts. Ask them your burning questions! Log onto www.ChangingSeas.tv for details. I'll post a link to the "Saving Sawfish" tease video when I get it.

Online viewing/chat party info:
The episode “Saving Sawfish” will debut on www.ChangingSeas.tv in conjunction with an online chat with sawfish experts featured in the episode, Wednesday, June 25 at 8:30pm ET. It’s also available in South Florida on WPBT2.

Saving Sawfish
The strange, prehistoric-looking Smalltooth Sawfish were once coveted by anglers as popular trophy fish. But habitat loss and overfishing have greatly reduced the animals’ range and landed them on the endangered species list. Today, the fish are limited to South Florida, where scientists are conducting research to save the species.

Replies

  • JulieAnnJulieAnn Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Hot off the presses! The episode tease video of "Saving Sawfish."
  • mixitupmixitup Posts: 28 Greenhorn
    No interest here in this so-called "conservation" forum. If it does not help the few outspoken habitual posters here to make more $$ from their charter or other fishing related income, it does not concern them.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    I think you will find that many of us do not recognize the sawfish as being in need of "saving"and is instead being used as a straw horse for more public access restrictions as well as prohibitions on seawall construction and repair.

    For what that's worth.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,468 Captain
    Mixitup.. you might not have all the info on this particular issue (but that rarely slows anyone down much....). For about three years I was booked three to five days at a time to assist the team from Mote Marine that were preparing the "endangered paperwork" to get the sawfish listed under the ESA (Endangered Species Act). During my time with them I showed them most of my sawfish spots and aided them as much as possible (and was paid for my efforts). This was despite friends who advised that I shouldn't do that at all... The folks I dealt with were professionals and I learned from them as much or more than they learned from me. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. When they completed their project they submitted their paperwork and the saw became listed as endangered (it's disappeared everywhere else in the world with the Everglades being the only exception -they've been protected in the 'Glades as long as I've been fishing there, starting 1974 or so...). Once the project was completed the folks involved went on to work other projects and for marine biologists following the grant money to different projects and locations is pretty much a regular thing from what I know... At that point all of the documentation was sent to a central location (I believe that was University of Florida...). For several years I heard little about this topic then heard about a public meeting being held on sawfish and the possible designation of an "area of critical concern" being designated for this species... Of course the meeting was being held by folks from NOAA and that should have been the first hint of the direction involved.

    Let's take a break for a minute and get something straight... the sawfish damned nearly disappeared because of inshore netting worldwide, period. If a sawfish, of any size (and I"ve seen them as big as around 22 feet overall) encounters a net - it dies. If it's a big or even a monster sawfish it totally destroys the net in the process. That's why years ago at marine flea markets you could still buy huge saw fish bills here and there. Most were pretty old and moth eaten but they did show exactly what was happening to the sawfish.... Here in Florida we turned the corner on them back when the net ban was passed. Every year since then the sawfish has been coming back, slow and steady. If we could eliminate inshore nets in every state (and in all the countries where they used to roam....) the sawfish would recover completely over tiime. The entire Everglades is a huge sawfish habitat because they've been so well protected (nets haven't been allowed since the Park was established back in 1948...).

    Now let's get back to that meeting I'm referring to... I drove a hundred miles to have my say that night (about three or four years ago now) over to Port of the Islands. There were just a handful of anglers present (and no one else except the two folks running the meeting). Here's the fun part. They were planning on declaring the area from Naples up to Tampa as an area of critical concern for sawfish and didn't seem interested at all in any info about the species or the actual problem it faced. When presented with the fact that the animal was completely protected in the Everglades and that the net ban here in Florida was doing exactly what was needed..... they didn't seem interested at all since they appeared to already have made up their minds to set this area in place (and subsequently use it in exactly the manner Gary has already mentioned.

    I decided that night that I would never again participate in well meant efforts at conservation that were only going to be used for clearly political purposes by folks who will never see a sawfish and only plan on using a "designation" to further their own anti-growth agenda. I can get behind "anti-growth" measures that are clearly stated and carefully crafted to achieve a reasonable goal, clearly understood by all. That's not what's been going on here at all from what I've seen.

    I strongly support reasonable conservation efforts for fish and game as well as what I've identified up above. This sort of stuff is something else entirely and more than one pretty much untouchable government agency is involved at present. Wish it weren't so. The items Gary has cited are only part of the restrictions and prohibiitions this designation will be used for... The sawfish is again being found outside the Park and to the north here in Florida. Most folks are very carefully being quiet about it.... Can't say I blame them.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    Always great commentary, Bob.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,454 AG
    I never kept one I caught in a net and they were released unharmed, yes they did put some holes in a net.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,468 Captain
    Sawfish and inshore nets are a big problem. If you've been able to release them alive, you're a rare deal. Most of time any saw that hits a net dies, period.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 6,008 Admiral
    lemaymiami wrote: »
    Sawfish and inshore nets are a big problem. If you've been able to release them alive, you're a rare deal. Most of time any saw that hits a net dies, period.

    Especially after its head has been clubbed flat! But there are exceptions to every rule. The net ban has already saved the saw fish, your welcome mixitup.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,454 AG
    lemaymiami wrote: »
    Sawfish and inshore nets are a big problem. If you've been able to release them alive, you're a rare deal. Most of time any saw that hits a net dies, period.
    Never caught any of the big ones, just cut the small ones out, bout like doing a loggerhead that ain't fit to eat..


    Green turtle was another story.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Pucker FactorPucker Factor Posts: 875 Officer
    Late to the discussion.

    The reproductive process is the only thing holding this species back from exploding. They are well on their way to recovery, it is just going to take time, not more legislation. I used to only see them in the winter and now I'm seeing them in the summer months more and more. Saw more sawfish two weekends ago than I saw redfish. Those that are involved in policy, are not out there to actually see their numbers.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,905 AG
    Those that are involved in policy, are not out there to actually see their numbers.

    A truism.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,468 Captain
    The unfortunate truth is that the bureaucrats who will use the sawfish's endangered status won't have ever seen a saw in the wild and their agenda has very little to do with "saving sawfish". Wish it weren't so
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,337 Moderator
    lemaymiami wrote:
    Now let's get back to that meeting I'm referring to... I drove a hundred miles to have my say that night (about three or four years ago now) over to Port of the Islands. There were just a handful of anglers present (and no one else except the two folks running the meeting). Here's the fun part. They were planning on declaring the area from Naples up to Tampa as an area of critical concern for sawfish and didn't seem interested at all in any info about the species or the actual problem it faced. When presented with the fact that the animal was completely protected in the Everglades and that the net ban here in Florida was doing exactly what was needed..... they didn't seem interested at all since they appeared to already have made up their minds to set this area in place (and subsequently use it in exactly the manner Gary has already mentioned.


    Seems to be true of all NOAA and Gulf Council meetings. Their agenda gets shoved down our throats no matter what the public opinion is. Look at Snapper Amendment 40 which had a 97% negative review and comment, yet it's still going forward
  • RobpelotRobpelot Posts: 612 Officer
    I saw a few of them as a kid in the 90s in terra ceia bay, good size too. I have not seen one outside of ENP since. We were taught by our dads to cut the line as close to the hook as we could with out getting cut, are they fragile when caught and not taken out of the water or anything?
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,468 Captain
    A baby saw is easy to handle, remove the hook, and release. Big saw is another matter entirely. I do my best to un-wrap the mono leader from around the bill then cut the remaining leader as close as possible without getting injured by their bill (properly called a rostrum...). A big saw is just plain dangerous next to the boat...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
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