Fishermen catch 500-pound sawfish
Fishermen catch 500-pound sawfish (Wikimedia Commons)
Fishermen catch 500-pound sawfish
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You may never have seen a fish like this. It's called a sawfish and it's pretty easy to know why.

One was caught off Boynton Beach, Florida last weekend. According to TV station WSVN and reported on, Dustin Richter and his friends weren't even planning to go out fishing that morning. But now they sure are happy they did. The sawfish is pretty aptly named. Its long snout features razor-sharp teeth on either side, closely resembling a saw. The fish use their snouts to dig through the ocean floor or cut their prey in half.

Sawfish are currently listed on the endangered species list. Richter and his friends released their sawfish back into the ocean after reeling it in.

National Geographic says the sawfish was added to the list in 2003 and became the first U.S. marine fish to receive such protection. The sawfish population had already dwindled to just 5 percent of what it was when Christopher Columbus came to the New World in 1492.

The National Wildlife Federation says the sawfish are most likely dying out because it's very easy for their saw-like snouts to get tangled up in fishing nets. Their snouts are then dried and sold as an ingredient in folk recipes for asthma in some countries.

But calling Sunday's catch "rare" might not be accurate, considering two other sawfish have been caught in Florida in the past two months.

Critical thinking challenge: Why are there fewer sawfish now than in 1492?

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  • 5ScottR
    5/28/2014 - 12:51 p.m.

    I think that is a big sawfish 500 pound fish is really big it's even better that they didn't won't to go fishing then they went and fought that.

    5/28/2014 - 02:33 p.m.

    It is very interesting that they caught a saw-fish at 500 pounds, however it isn't a record. It's definitely good that they released the fish back into the ocean especially because they are listed as an endangered species. There are fewer saw-fish now than in 1492 because of climate changes and probably because of many other species killing them off.

  • JadenB-2
    5/28/2014 - 10:45 p.m.

    An endangered species was caught off the coast of florida last weekend, it may sound amazing but its not necessarily a good thing. This endangered species is called a sawfish for a very obvious reason, its because of its saw like snout that they use to hunt for their prey by either digging under the sand or cutting it in half. The saw fish are likely dyeing out because they constantly are getting caught up in fishing nets. Their snouts are also often used in asthma treatments. Thats a really odd looking fish i wonder if their are any in hermosa beach. I hope that these crazy creatures don't die out they're really cool.

  • JoshR-5
    5/29/2014 - 12:53 a.m.

    In Boynton Beach, Florida a local fisherman Dustin Richter caught a 500 pound sawfish.
    He and his friends were not even planning on going fishing but decided to go anyway. This type of fish has a long razor sharp nose that slices through its prey. The sawfish is considered an endangered species so the group released the fish back into the wild. This fish was the first fish to gain federal protection in 2003. The sawfish population is only five percent of what it used to be. I think it was cool that even though this population has dwindled down to only five percent of what it was they were able to catch this fish. What are the odds.

    5/29/2014 - 11:04 a.m.

    They are fewer sawfish becuase people may have fished them and killedbthem for something special they do look rare.The National Wildlifemade a right decision to have them in the endangered list.

  • LucP-5
    5/30/2014 - 12:58 a.m.

    This article is about the sawfish, a fish who lives up to its name. It got its name because of the saw-like snout and razor sharp teeth on either side. This fish hunts by digging its snout into the ground and cutting its prey in half. This fish is also now on the endangered species list. This is one of the first marine animals to earn this title, in 2003. I think that this fish looks very cool. I also think that we might want to put these fish onto a reserve so they can grow their population to a larger size.

  • aarong-Sch
    5/30/2014 - 01:26 p.m.

    man thats a huge fish 500 pounds and yet to be a saw fish i wonder what else is going to be out there in the ocean

  • duaney-Sch
    5/30/2014 - 01:34 p.m.

    I don't think they should have put the fish back, I only think this because the fish is endangered as it said and is probably the only time you'll see the fish again.

  • Lindsay C
    5/30/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    I have never heard of a saw fish before, but they look pretty cool. I thinks it's interesting that they caught the fish even though it weighs 500-pounds. I think that it was sweet that they released it back into the ocean because the fish was endangered.

  • tylerk-Sch-Sch
    5/30/2014 - 01:39 p.m.

    That is one scary fish. I probably won't be swimming in the ocean again for a while now after reading this. And I thought sharks were scary..

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