A record number of migratory sharks and rays were listed for global protection at the CMS COP11, held in Quito, Ecuador in 2014. But, what comes next?
Narrow sawfishes (Anoxypristis cuspidata) is classified as Endangered by the IUCN's Red List, primarily due to exploitation, by-catch and, to a lesser extent, habitat loss and degradation. This species was historically a relatively common large-bodied sawfish of the Indo-Pacific Region. It is found in inshore and estuarine environments to offshore habitats of up to 100 metres. Narrow sawfishes were historically found in 22 countries, but is now classified as Presence Uncertain in 12, and Possibly Extinct in Viet Nam, marking an overall 30% decline in the species' geographic range size.
Sawfishes that require particular habitats at different stages of their life history (e.g. rivers, lakes, estuaries or areas of mangroves) are threatened by coastal and riverine developments that prevent them from migrating to these critical habitats (and sawfishes are amphidromous, moving between the sea and estuarine and freshwater habitats).
Sawfishes are particularly vulnerable as many range states have not yet adopted measures to address the threat of unsustainable exploitation. CMS Appendix I and II listings would yield significant benefits for one of the most threatened groups of chondrichthyan fishes by increasing cooperation and collaboration among these range states.
|CMS Instruments||CMS, Sharks (2016)|
|Date of entry in Appendix I||2014|
|Date of entry in Appendix II||2014|
|Countries||Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam|
|Scientific name||Anoxypristis cuspidata|
|Standard reference||Eschmeyer, W.N. (1990). Catalogue of the Genera of Recent Fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.|
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