|Date||19 Mar 2015|
Sawfish are considered to be endangered worldwide and all sawfish species are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. In Africa, sawfishes are suspected to now be extinct throughout much of their former range, but recent work in Mozambique (in 2014) indicated that sawfishes are still caught at least occasionally by fishermen in two distinct habitats in the north of the country.
In 2015, the Protect Africa’s Sawfishes project aims to collect further data on sawfishes in Mozambique, and to build awareness and capacity for monitoring and conservation. Sampling in key sawfish habitats will be conducted in collaboration with local fishers and the Mozambican Fisheries Research Institute, to verify the presence of sawfishes and collect basic biological data.
The study will involve Mozambican fisheries staff, in particular from the regional offices in the provinces where sampling takes place, and will train them in netting, sawfish handling and data collection techniques, essentially building local capacity for any future studies or monitoring activities. A workshop will also be held in Maputo to provide training in sawfish identification, ecology, handling and monitoring to government and NGO staff, and to develop a National Sawfish Conservation Strategy. Local education strategies and a campaign to build awareness of the critical status of sawfishes, targeting school children and fishing communities, will be developed. This project will significantly increase our understanding of sawfish populations in east Africa and aims to engage local communities in Mozambique in working towards sustainable practices to support sawfish conservation.
Read about Ruth's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/ruth_leeney or for more information contact: