Protecting sawfish and river sharks

A juvenile northern river shark

Sawfish and river sharks are rare species in Australia, protected under national environmental law, with  Kakadu National Park home to some of the best surviving populations.

To help  manage sawfish and river sharks so that they survive for future generations, researchers from the National Environment Research Program are making monthly forays along Kakadu’s South Alligator River. They’re investigating the population size and movements of the critically endangered largetooth sawfish and two species of river shark.

In this video NERP researchers Dr Peter Kyne (Charles Darwin University) and Grant Johnson (NT Fisheries) are monitoring species size and movements.  They measure and tag the fish, and also take a small DNA sample before releasing them unharmed. The tiny tissue sample helps them learn much more about the species – such as how the juveniles are related to one another and the state of the adult population.

Amy, Northern Australia Hub

National Environmental Research Program