A fisherman on Naples Pier in Florida hooked into a rare and critically endangered smalltooth sawfish that captured the attention of dozens of beachgoers, including Naples resident Alex Pino, who videotaped the episode.
“I don't know what it is, [but] it looks like a chainsaw,” someone can be heard saying in Pino's video that was shared by InsideNaplesFlorida.
The pier fisherman had no recourse but to walk down the pier and onto the beach in an attempt to take the hook out and release the huge sawfish, but that was easier said than done, as the video shows:
After a futile attempt to dislodge the hook, one man finally did the smart and correct thing and cut the line a safe distance from the dangerous saw.
The freed sawfish thrashed in the surf before finding its bearings and swimming out to sea, where the hook will eventually rust out.
In describing Thursday's incident to the Naples Daily News, Pino said he was sightseeing on the Naples Pier when he noticed a commotion at the end of the pier.
“I knew somebody must have caught something interesting so I headed that way,” he told the Naples Daily News.
Pino kept filming and when a man pulled the sawfish up out of the water by the tail, Pino, like other onlookers, were taken aback.
“That's when we all got to see how huge this sawfish is,” Pino said. “I've never seen anything like it in person.”
Smalltooth sawfish can grow up to 18 feet long and weigh 700 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, though some reports say they can reach up to 25 feet long.
From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
The smalltooth sawfish is no longer found throughout its full historical range but is still a year-round resident of peninsular Florida, with most encounters occurring in southwest Florida from Charlotte Harbor to the Florida Keys. Smaller individuals from 3 to 6 feet total length typically live close to shore near river mouths or tidal creeks, while larger smalltooth sawfish up to 18 feet typically inhabit deeper offshore waters.
Biologists know little detailed information about smalltooth sawfish biology and ecology.
According to Maine News Online, some experts estimate there might only be 2,000 smalltooth sawfish remaining.
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