Smalltooth sawfishes are a circumtropical species, and have been documented from Europe, West Africa, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. They have also been reported from the Philippines and Australia, though these specimens may possibly have been misidentified (Adams 1995; Simpfendorfer 2005). In the Western Atlantic, the range extends from approximately southern Chesapeake Bay south to Brazil, including Bermuda, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. However, observations of this endangered fish are now regularly reported only from the waters of south and southwest Florida, with occasional sitings as far north as the Indian River Lagoon on Florida's East coast, and Tampa Bay on Florida's West coast.Records from the late 1700s and early 1800s report smalltooth sawfishes being captured in waters off New York and New Jersey during the summer months when water temperatures were at their highest in these areas. However, it is estimated that the historical range ofPristis pectinata has contracted by more than 90%, and the species is currently in danger of extinction. Records from the late 1800s show that the India River Lagoon was an area of abundance for Pristis pectinata (Bean 1884; Evermann and Bean 1896). Today, they are only rarely encountered.
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