Assign to Google Classroom
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 AOL.com, 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?
Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/fishermen-catch-500-pound-sawfish/