MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – An 11-foot female sawfish that was found dead Tuesday near Marvin Key will be examined by scientists in Port Charlotte, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
According to authorities, Lower Keys Marine Deputy Ed Swogger assisted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission when some people called to report finding the fish near Marvin Key around 2 p.m.
The sawfish was loaded onto a MCSO patrol boat and was later taken to a lab in Port Charlotte by the FWC so scientists can study it.
Sawfish are protected under the Endangered Species Act and must be promptly released unharmed if they are accidentally caught while fishing.
According to the FWC, many people believe sawfish are a type of shark, but they are actually a type of ray, “in part because their gill slits are on the bottom of their bodies.”
They are not known to be aggressive toward humans, but “the saw can inflict a serious injury,” the FWC confirms.
Click here for more information about sawfish.