Sawfish are large shark-like rays that once were relatively common in Florida coastal waters. Now, Florida’s sawfish are endangered, and scientists are striving to learn as much as possible about this iconic and fascinating fish.
Tonya Wiley, president of Havenworth Coastal Conservation, will speak about the sawfish and conservation biology on Tuesday, January 14th at the Mound House, 451 Connecticut St., Fort Myers Beach. Doors open at 5:30 PM for light refreshments, followed by Wiley’s presentation from 6 to 7 PM.
Wiley will share facts about sawfish, updates on current research projects, explanations of management tools such as the Endangered Species Act, descriptions of ways the public can be involved in the recovery of sawfish, and other information about the unique and endangered smalltooth sawfish. Guests will see a 3-foot sawfish replica, feel some real sawfish rostra (saws), and take home some sawfish swag.
Wiley has been conducting conservation biology studies of sawfish since 2001, including research on the endangered smalltooth sawfish in Florida. For nearly a decade, Wiley was a researcher with Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research, directing field surveys for smalltooth sawfish from Tampa Bay to the Florida Keys. Wiley is an appointed member, and team leader, for the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Smalltooth Sawfish Recovery Implementation Team—a panel of experts working to protect the remaining sawfish population in the United States and to prevent the species from extinction.
Havenworth Coastal Conservation was founded to promote the sustainable use and conservation of marine resources through research, outreach, and education.
Seating for Wiley’s presentation, which costs $10 ($5 for members), is limited and reservations are required. Call 239-765-0865 or go to moundhouse.org.