Karwar fishermen net rare sawfish

Karwar fishermen net rare sawfish

Prize catch

Beached: The sawfish that was caught by fishermen at Dandebagh in Karwar taluk on Monday. DH PHOTO

Dinesh Sail, Prashant, Sunil Bolekar and Dattatreya had netted a small tooth sawfish.

Going by the scientific name, Pristis, this giant fish species is on the brink of extinction. The fish gets its name as it has a beak in the shape of a saw. The fish is 17 feet long, with the beak measuring 3.5 feet. The beak helps the fish catch its prey. The fish, with a body circumference of six feet, weighs nearly 500 kg.   

There is also a belief attached to the fish. If it has a vertical line on the forehead, fishermen consider it a divine fish. 

There is a huge demand for the small tooth sawfish in the international market as its skin and fins are used to prepare a special soup. The small tooth sawfish is mostly found in the temperate zones, says Prof V N Nayak of the Centre for Oceanic Studies of the Karnatak University.

Fishermen from Kerala have reportedly purchased the fish for Rs 45,000.