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Green Sawfish Listed As Vulnerable

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Green sawfish listed as vulnerable

The green sawfish has been listed as vulnerable under federal environmental laws, making it illegal to catch the fish within 200 nautical miles of the Australian shoreline.

The sawfish, which takes its name from its flattened head and elongated snout studded with up to 28 pairs of teeth, is virtually extinct in south-east Asia and rare outside of northern Australia.

"This listing will make it illegal to kill, harm or take green sawfish in Commonwealth waters," Environment Minister Peter Garrett said in a statement.

"The green sawfish faces ongoing threats from accidental catch in fishing nets, from illegal fishing for fins and rostrums - the distinctive saw-toothed snouts - and from habitat degradation through coastal development."

The green sawfish was once found as far south as Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, but is now rarely found south of Cairns.

It is listed as endangered in NSW waters, vulnerable in the Northern Territory and totally protected in Western Australia.

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