Family: Pristiophoridae – Sawsharks
Common Name– Sawsharks
Common Name– Sawsharks
Status: IUCN Red List LEAST CONCERN
Average Size and Length: Females reach around 4.1 feet long, and males reach around 3.6 feet long.
Teeth and Jaw: The Shortnose sawshark has 17-19 large lateral rostral sawteeth. There are 12-14 before the barbels, and 6-8 behind the barbels. Juveniles have 1 smaller tooth between the larger sawteeth. There are 13-14 ventral teeth before the barbels, there are 4 ventral teeth between the barbels and nostrils.
Head: The Shortnose sawshark has a short, broad, tapering, narrow rostrum. The preoral length is between 22% and 24%. The barbels are much closer to the mouth than the rostral tip. The nostrils are diagonally oval and elongated.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Shortnose sawshark can be found in southern Australia. They can be found in temperate and subtropical waters on the continental shelf on or near the bottom. They are found close inshore to at least 230 feet but possibly 541 feet.
Diet: The Shortnose sawshark primarily feeds on benthic invertebrates and small bony fish.
Aesthetic Identification: The body of the Shortnose sawshark shark is large, stalky and slightly compressed. In color, the dorsal side tends to be uniformly slate gray, with few or no markings. The ventral side is counter-shaded pale white or cream. They have indistinct dusky stripes along the rostrum midline and edges. The two dorsal fins are almost identical in size.
Biology and Reproduction: The Shortnose sawshark is ovoviviparous. It gives birth biannually to a litter of 7-14 pups. The size of pups at birth is about 14 inches. These sharks can live to be up to 9 years old.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: The Shortnose sawshark is benthic. They find hidden prey by poking the bottom with the snout, locating the prey with the barbels and uproot the pery with the snout.
Shortnose Sawshark Future and Conservation: They are quite common in these waters. Due to stable commercial catch rates, reduced Total Allowable Catch, protection in Victorian waters, and a high rate of biological productivity, the Shortnose sawshark is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. While the Shortnose sawhark is fairly popular commercially, the largest threat to the species is being caught as bycatch in gillnet operations. The bycatch is used for food.
Shortnose Sawshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Due to its habitat, size, and behavior, this species is considered to be harmless to humans.