The sawfish is a very unique-looking fish that could be found in the coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The reason we say could be found is that both the smalltooth sawfish and largtooth sawfish have not been seen in decades. However, it is essential to understand what a sawfish is in the event you happen to come across one while fishing. What exactly is a sawfish.

Where Did Sawfish Live and May Still Live

Interestingly enough, they were known to be found almost worldwide despite the low numbers of sawfish today. Both species of sawfish beyond Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina roamed the waters of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Africa, and South America.

The sawfish can survive in multiple habitats, which include both tropical and subtropical waters, freshwater, and along the inland coastal waterways. They tend to lurk on seafloors that consist of sand or mud. 

Why Are Sawfish So Scarce

The sawfish population is low due to a multitude of reasons. Despite saw tooth fish having once been found worldwide. Sawfish are now on the critically endangered list.  

Fortunately, sawfish endangered is recognized around the globe. Many countries have taken measures to help protect any remaining fish. The primary reason they are disappearing from the planet is due to overfishing. The saw portion of the fish becomes entangled in fishing nets, causing them to die.

Beyond fishing gear decimating the population, they were also overfished. Much like the shark, the fins of a sawtooth are and were highly valuable for food purposes in some parts of the world. Beyond the consumption of the meat and fins, the saw of the fish is in high demand as people consider it valuable. 

How do you identify a sawfish

They are shark-like in appearance and skin texture which is very coarse like that of sandpaper. Sawfish are part of the ray family. Another shared similarity to the shark family is that the sawfish does not have bones it skeleton is consists of cartilage. 

The top of the fish is mostly brown in color and fades to gray or white on the belly. One of the most apparent signs of sawfish is the saw-like protrusion forward of the mouth. 

Although it is not documented, one of the biggest sawfish was believed to have been caught in Texas. Sawfish that are seen today are typically small in size. Now they range between six and eight feet. However, they are believed to grow up to twenty-five feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds.

What is the difference between a smalltooth sawfish and a largetooth sawfish

The two types of sawfish are distinctly different when you examine the saw portion of the fish. 

Smalltooth sawfish

Because the teeth are smaller in size, they have many teeth on the saw protrusion. The typical tooth count is between twenty and thirty.

Largetooth sawfish

Much like it sounds, the teeth are much larger on a largetooth sawfish. They have between fourteen and twenty-four teeth which are spaced evenly. 

What and how do sawfish eat

Although unlikely, you may just happen to stumble across a sawfish; they have been caught accidentally by anglers who are shark fishing. Sawfish consume small fish and crustaceans. 

The fish’s saw portion is often used to mix up the seafloor to search for food and rapidly move it from side to side, injuring baitfish for easier consumption.

What’s the best way to find a sawfish

One of the best ways to see a live sawfish is by visiting an aquarium because of the unlikely event of catching one. Two aquariums between the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia have sawfish. The first is the Georgia Aquarium located in Atlanta, Georgia and the second is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at the Ripley’s Aquarium. Let’s hope that these massive unique-looking creatures can increase their population and that the days of seeing the largest sawfish are yet to come.