Smalltooth Sawfish

Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) are not sharks, but they are also in the Class Chondrichthyes, and therefore share many behavioral and life history traits with sharks. Smalltooth Sawfish populations have suffered greatly over the past couple of decades due to a loss of habitat and as a result of being caught as bycatch. 

Smalltooth Sawfish were added to the Endangered Species Act in 2003, granting them full federal protection. 


You can help protect these amazing fish in the following ways:

  • Educate yourself on what they look like and where they can be found
  • Protect our coastal habitats
  • If you are fishing and accidentally catch a Smalltooth Sawfish (or if you are present when another angler does), follow these safe handling and release guidelines 
  • If you see a Smalltooth Sawfish, report your sighting here


For more information on Smalltooth Sawfish, and ways to get involved with their protection, visit NOAA’s species profile