16-NGI3-02, 17-NGI3-21, 18-NGI3-45, 19-NGI3-76, 20-NGI3-103 (191001-363513-1B)
2022-9-30 0:0:0
Determination of Movement patterns and Reproductive Status of Adult Smalltooth Sawfish (and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks)
The endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinate) and the reduction or prevention of their mortality is the top action in the National Marine Fisheries Service Recovery Plan. Sawfishes are large shark-like rays with an elongated blade-like snout susceptible to being entangled in gillnets and trawls, one of the leading causes of their population decline. To address NOAA recovery actions, researchers conduct sampling trips to attach SPOT satellite tags on adult smalltooth sawfish and collect life history information. The data will improve understanding about the population and reproductive status of adult sawfish, the habitats they frequent, and if these areas meet criteria for Critical Habitat listing. The data may reveal spatial and temporal distribution patterns, including mating sites and long-term residency and migration patterns, and if these occur in commercial trawling and longline fisheries areas. Knowing these connections can provide guidance on actions to reduce bycatch mortality, such as seasonally limiting access to specific areas and habitats. This effort includes the data collection on scalloped hammerhead sharks for ongoing federal stock assessments and conservation awareness through education and outreach.