Saving The Blue: Studying the Critically Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish

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Hello, fellow marine enthusiasts, Scientist and Conservationists! My name is Khrys Carroll, and I am from Central Andros, The Bahamas. I am a marine scientist with ‘Saving The Blue’ and I’m excited to share with you my latest adventure in researching the Critically Endangered smalltooth sawfish.

As many of you may know, smalltooth sawfish are incredibly rare and elusive creatures. With only a few remaining in the wild, my goal is to one day get laws in place in The Bahamas for the protection of this magnificent species. To achieve this, I’ve been researching and studying smalltooth sawfish for about three years now here in the Bahamas. Recently, my colleague Sarontaa Bain and I were conducting school visits in Mangrove Cay, Andros, to gift children’s books and to follow-up with local fishers and guides on recent sawfish sightings. 

While we were in Mangrove Cay, I received video confirmation of a sighting of the elusive smalltooth sawfish in South Andros. This was an opportunity that we could not miss, so Rontaa and I immediately boarded the ferry and took a 20-minute ride to South Andros. We were determined to find the smalltooth sawfish…could it still be in the area? Would this be my first ever opportunity to see a sawfish…?

We arrived at the sighting location and spent three days combing the waters, hoping to catch a glimpse of this rare and endangered creature. On the fourth and final day, November 28th, 2022, we finally saw it. For the first time in the wild, I had my eyes transfixed on a 7ft smalltooth sawfish at the exact spot where it was sighted in the video…..WOW! 

It was just an incredible moment! The smalltooth sawfish is an ancient and unique creature, and to see one in the wild was truly a privilege. We carefully observed the sawfish, taking note of its behavior and habitat. We also took photos and measurements to document our sighting.

Our research will be crucial in getting laws in place to protect this species. Smalltooth sawfish face many threats, including habitat destruction, bycatch in fisheries, and illegal hunting. It is our duty to protect these magnificent creatures and ensure that they continue to thrive in the wild. However, in order to do this we need to identify what habitats are important to them and inform the government of these key locations. 

As a marine scientist from The Bahamas, I am proud to contribute to the conservation of our marine biodiversity, and I hope that my work will inspire others to take action in protecting our oceans and the species that call them home.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more updates on our research on the smalltooth sawfish. Together, we can make a difference! I would like to thank the Atlantis for helping to fund our research and bringing us one step closer to our goal.

Khrys - during his interviews with a rostrum one of the fishers had from 20 years ago
Krys visited Mangrove Cay to gift marine science children's books to the locals.

Written by: Keith Khrysdovãn Carroll | Marine Scientist – Saving The Blue