Fishermen catch 500-pound sawfish
Fishermen catch 500-pound sawfish (Wikimedia Commons)
Fishermen catch 500-pound sawfish
Lexile: 1010L

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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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Assigned 9 times

    5/29/2014 - 12:06 p.m.

    Maybe people catch fish every day. But this is an extrordinary catch by Ritcher and his friends. They shouldn't have released it now it could kill people with his saw on his mouth! When you see him in the water you might wanna run.

  • savannahg1
    5/29/2014 - 12:50 p.m.

    On Boynton Beach, Florida last weekend a sawfish was caught. The person who caught it is name Dustin Richter. He and his friends weren't planning on a fishing trip but when they caught that shark they were happy they did. When they caught it they put it back in the ocean. They did put it back in the ocean because it was a endangered species. In the National Geographic they said it was added to the list of endangered species in 2003. The species was dropped by 5 percent when Christopher Columbus came to the new world. Awesome!!! a sawfish that was caught during a fishing trip, now I want to go there and catch a fish.

    5/29/2014 - 01:22 p.m.

    Catching a sawfish is amazing. 500 pounds is a lot of weight for a fish by itself. Fishing must take because you would have to wait for the fish to come where your boat is.

  • DakotaGreenQ4
    5/29/2014 - 02:52 p.m.

    i wish i could cache a saw fish it looks cool i want one so i can say i have cot a big fish i think it is cool that there is different kind of fishes .

  • AshleyLin
    5/29/2014 - 03:05 p.m.

    that is cool that you found a 500 pound sawfish that is cool. how did you catch a saw fish that wight 500 pounds.

  • KameronBlueQ4
    5/29/2014 - 04:46 p.m.

    I think it is amazing for such a find but yet; think how much of the world have we not yet recovered and how much have we not seen that the world has to offer?

  • jared610
    5/29/2014 - 05:21 p.m.

    That is a big fish and a rare one to. The reason there are so few is that in 1492 people around the Indian ocean would hunt them for sport. After killing them they would do one of two things. One they would put it on their wall to honor their family. Also when the saw hit air it would dry up and become stronger. That being said if you were a warrior you would have just acquired a rare and strong weapon.

  • LaurenM-1
    5/29/2014 - 07:10 p.m.

    A sawfish was caught off of Florida's coast in Boynton Beach by Dustin Richter and his friends. Sawfish are on the endangered species list so Richter and his friends released it after they caught it. They are named after their long snout and razor sharp teeth on both sides of their snout that looks like a saw. The National Wildlife association said they are probably dying out because their long snouts could easily be caught in fishing nets. I think that it is a very interesting fish and have never seen one like it before.

  • FionaR-4
    5/29/2014 - 09:02 p.m.

    A five hundred pound Sawfish was caught by a man named Richter and his friends. When they saw it was a Sawfish, they released it back into the ocean. Sawfish are currently listed as endangered. It is easy for their saw like snouts to get caught up in fishing nets. The Sawfish population has a ready decreased to about five percent of what it was since Columbus came to the new world in 1492. Specialists are saying that the Sawfish species are most likely to die out. I think that is is very bad that the Sawfish are going to die. I also find that it was smart for Richter and his friends to let the sawfish back into the ocean.

  • KateL-4
    5/29/2014 - 09:43 p.m.

    At Boynton Beach in Florida last weekend a 500 pound sawfish was caught! Fisherman Dustin Richter wasn't planning on going fishing that morning, but when he did he caught a fish with a long snout that had razor sharp teeth on either side. Once he caught the fish, he reeled it up then set it back in the ocean. Sawfish are considered endangered because their snout can easily get caught in fish nets, and then they die. However, in the past two months, two have been caught! I think it's really cool that they caught an endangered fish. I am also glad that they put it back in the ocean.

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