The sawfish, included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 enacted to save them from exploitation, have been sighted off the Indian coast less than 10 times in over a decade and they appear to be more threatened than tigers and elephants, say marine scientists as the world observed the first Sawfish Day.
A statement issued by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute said that the sawfish may be the most endangered fish species in India.
There are only five species of the sawfish ever identified — dwarf sawfish, knifetooth sawfish, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish and green sawfish. Sawfish are elasmobranchs, meaning their skeleton is made of cartilage. They are closely related to sharks and have shark-shaped bodies and, hence, are also called flat sharks.