Thursday, July 14, 2016

JMIH 2016:Plenary #3

The third plenary was an AES plenary involving sawfish conservation. While I was waiting for the presentation to begin, I managed to figure out how to draw sawfish in several different styles, including realistic, anthropomorphic, and 8-bit. The first part of the presentation discussed the history of the AES and mourned the loss of Jeannie Clark in 2015. Jeannie was an incredibly dedicated member of the AES who focused on shark conservation. A truly great  #FisHER. Then, it began to discuss sawfish as a whole. The elasmobrancs are found in estuaries off oceans and coastal rivers. They usually live for 10-12 years and have 8-12 young, born live. Very recently, sawfish phylogeny has been rearranged and redefined due to genetic sequencing. The sawfish rostrum (that's the long snout with all the teeth on it) is used for stunning and killing fishy prey and sensing electrical signals given off by prey. There are currently 5 living species of sawfish, and all 5 are either endangered or critically endangered. The main sources of their decline include commercial fishing outside the US, bycatch mortality, misconceptions and sensationalism, trophy fishing, and habitat loss. Out of all elasmobrancs, sawfish are the most threatened. In Florida, sawfish were listed as protected in 1992, and were officially endangered in 2003. In 2012, a plan was devised to conserve sawfish worldwide. And, in 2016, AES, at JMIH 2016, did a symposium entirely on sawfish and their conservation. 

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