A Historical Record of Sawfish in the Southern Gulf of Mexico: Evidence of Diversity Loss Using Old Photos

by Manuel Mendoza-Carranza and Alejandro Espinoza-Tenorio (Fisheries magazine: February 2015) Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 1.42.22 PMDespite the conspicuous character of sawfish (Pristis spp.) in shallow estuarine waters, current records in the southern Gulf of Mexico are so scarce that they have been declared locally extinct from many areas where they formerly occurred (Fernandez-Carvalho et al. 2013). In Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico, historical reports for sawfish exist for the upper Usumacinta River (Emiliano Zapata City), Chiltepec Lagoon in Tabasco (Castro-Aguirre et al. 1999), and the Términos Lagoon, Campeche (Zarur 1962) in the 1960s; however, recent but occasional reports are restricted to Mexican Caribbean waters (Schmitter-Soto et al. 2009). Here, we present an anonymous photo (see p. 55) taken in the 1950s in Frontera City, Tabasco, Mexico, found during our fieldwork on reconstructing past fishery conditions based on the traditional ecological knowledge from fishers of the Tabasco coast. This enlightening image is currently part of the electronic historical collection of local chronicler Placido Santana, who donated a copy to support our research. Based on tooth size and first dorsal fin position, this sawfish was…. to read the rest of this article in Fisheries magazine (February 2015), visit: 

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