Green sawfish – Pristis zijsron


Green sawfish, also known as narrow-snout sawfish or dindagubba, are a large species of ray with a shark-like body and an elongated, toothstudded snout (the 'saw').

They were once widely distributed in the northern Indian Ocean, around South and South-East Asia and around northern Australia and have been recorded as far south as Sydney.

However, their numbers have been greatly reduced by fishing and accidental capture in prawn trawl and gill nets. The last confirmed sighting of the green sawfish in NSW was in 1972 from the Clarence River at Yamba.

Their large size and saw mean that they easily become entangled in nets and are difficult to remove, and so rarely survive capture.

Green sawfish are listed as a species presumed extinct in NSW. There are heavy penalties for harming, possessing, buying or selling them, or for harming their habitat.

The contents of this Primefact include the following:

  • Description
  • Habitat and ecology
  • Why are green sawfish threatened?
  • Conservation and recovery actions
  • Legal implications
  • Bibliography and further reading


Primefact 7 Third Edition

Published: Apr 2016