About the project
“Our project was born as an initiative of the University of Costa Rica, together with some Non-Governmental Organizations, to promote the conservation of Sawfish in Costa Rica.”
The National Sawfish conservation strategy emerges as an initiative of the University of Costa Rica in conjunction with several organizations that support the protection of the Sawfish in Costa Rica and the Central American region. This important effort was the product of awareness campaigns, education and environmental awareness throughout the country.
The awareness of rural communities in coastal areas is not only important for the protection and conservation of the Sawfish, but could also change the attitudes of fishermen and other inhabitants to favor a more rational extraction of their fishing resources, to take care of important habitats such as Mangroves and wetlands, and think about other economic benefits associated with maintaining biodiversity, for example, promoting tourism activities. In this context, the Sawfish would be acting as an umbrella species, providing other ecological and socio-economic benefits associated with its conservation.
In search of the Sawfish, Costa Rica
When did we start?
Our project was born in 2016 as an initiative of the University of Costa Rica, in conjunction with Non-Governmental Organizations, and with the support of the Rufford Foundation
What is the project about?
This project aims to promote the conservation of Sawfish, a critically endangered species in Costa Rica
– Evaluate the current status of the Sawfish in Costa Rica
– Educate and sensitize the Costa Rican population to protect and conserve the Sawfish
Mid and long term goals
– Promote a regional conservation strategy for the Sawfish in Central America
– Build public-private partnerships that allow the long-term sustainability of the project
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What is a Sawfish?
The Sawfish is a species of ray, closely related to sharks, that is recognized by having an elongated face in the shape of a saw which it uses to feed and defend itself. In America, this species is distributed from Mexico to Peru, and is commonly found in a wide variety of aquatic environments such as rivers, wetlands, mangroves, and coastal waters. The Sawfish is a predator that can reach a large size (more than six meters in length), so it has a very important ecological role, like controlling the abundance and distribution of smaller species and maintaining the balance and health of the aquatic ecosystems.