Skip to content

Narrow Sawfish

Anoxypristis cuspidata


The narrow sawfish is also known as the knifetooth or pointed sawfish. The narrow sawfish is one of the smaller sawfish species, only reaching 4.7 m in length!

Comparatively, the narrow sawfish reaches maturity earlier, at approximately 3 years. Females have large litters, giving birth to an average of 12 pups. They are thought to live on average up to 9 years.

Significant population declines now limits the distribution of the narrow sawfish, with its range having contracted by almost 30%. As with the other sawfish species, the narrow sawfish populations have declined worldwide during the past decades due to intensive fishing, either because they are targeted or are caught as bycatch. Unfortunately narrow sawfish are more susceptible to dying after being released. The species has become rare in most of its remaining range due to targeted fisheries, as well as incidental catch. As with other sawfishes, their teethed rostra (the saw), meat, fins and liver are highly valued and most of these products have been or are used in countries such as China and Myanmar. Habitat degradation is also an important threat to the species, with coastal and estuarine ecosystems being key for their survival

  • Order: Pristidae
  • Family: Pristidae
  • Population: Unknown
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: Up to 4.7m (?)
  • Depth Range (m): Up to 40 m (?)

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 6.92 (?)
ED Score: 125.09 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


The narrow sawfish occur in the Indo-West Pacific from China and South Korea to the central coasts of western and eastern Australia. Their historical range is not fully understood, but it might well have included the Arabian Gulf.

Habitat and Ecology

The narrow sawfish is primarily a benthic-pelagic coastal species (with adults reaching up to 40 meters depth. Females use estuarine and shallow coastal areas such as mangroves for pupping and, they constitute nursery grounds for juveniles. The narrow sawfish diet is mostly composed of small fishes and benthic invertebrates such as prawns.

Find out more