Protect Africa's Sawfishes was founded in November 2012. Initially focusing on the West Africa region, the project has to-date conducted research on sawfishes and training for local communities in Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Liberia, Mozambique and Madagascar. PAS has also conducted baseline work on sawfishes in other regions through collaboration with local NGOs Planeta Oceano (Peru & Ecuador) and LaMaVe (the Philippines). The project is currently focusing on the western Indian Ocean region. The mission of Protect Africa's Sawfishes is to search for evidence of sawfish populations in developing countries, especially in Africa, and to work with local communities and government to conserve those populations.
The objectives of the Protect Africa's Sawfishes project are:
1. To collect historical and current information on sawfish abundance and distribution throughout Africa.
2. To document the cultural and socio-economic importance of sawfishes to local communities.
3. To identify areas in Africa where sawfishes are still found and the threats to sawfishes in those areas.
4. To work with local government, communities and wildlife organisations to raise awareness about sawfishes, encourage the reporting of sawfish catches and develop conservation strategies.
5. To raise awareness globally of the endangered status of sawfishes via the media, popular press, scientific publications and photographs.
Sawfishes inhabit both marine and fresh water habitats, including rivers, estuaries, mangrove creeks and coastal waters. Four of the five species of sawfish are thought to be found in African waters, with two species present in the Indo-west Pacific - Pristis pristis (the Largetooth sawfish) and Pristis zijsron (the Green sawfish).
More information and updates on Protect Africa's Sawfishes' work in Madagascar and elsewhere is available via the project's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectAfricasSawfishes
and on Twitter: @Africas_Sawfish
A recent lecture on sawfish conservation and my research in Africa is now available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wClKL1PeW5U
Short film clips on my sawfish-related research and conservation acivities can be viewed at:
Project 14259098 location - Madagascar, Africa