National Sawfish Sighting Week - October 23-29, 2023

Globally, October 17 is International Sawfish Day! In 2023, Sharks And Rays Australia and SCF Australia have teamed up to create National Sawfish Sighting Week, where you – the invaluable Citizen Scientist – can help to monitor the most threatened species in our waters. All we need you to do is register your planned water activity and send us a picture afterwards, and you could win a spot on one of our sawfish expeditions.


How does it work?


  1. Registrations open on International Sawfish Day, October 17, 2023 and close by midnight October 22, 2023 (AEST). Include your plans for the big day – choose one day in the week of October 23-29, 2023:
        • Boating
        • Diving / free diving
        • Fishing
        • Flying a drone
        • Walking along the shoreline
  1. Go on your adventure.
        • Record the time you’re out on the water.
        • Make sure to take a photograph – with or without a sawfish.
        • If you do catch or sight a sawfish, get a picture including the saw!
  1. Report back.
        • Remember – no data is data! It is vital that we hear back from you even if you have not seen a sawfish.
        • To enter the prize draw you must submit your sawfish day details by midnight November 1, 2023 (AEST).
        • You MUST submit a photo from the day’s activity directly from your phone, so it is time and location stamped.


How is this different from our normal sightings campaign?

Sawfish are protected in Australian waters. We do not ask you to target them – however if you catch one while fishing, we do ask that you safely release it and report your sighting. This is incredibly important to our work and their conservation 365 days a year.

When people report sightings, this only tells us where sawfish are – it leaves out where they are not. For this step of the project, we need both. By including people’s time on the water over a set day, this helps to standardise our data.

Please note that not seeing a sawfish doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It just gives us a better idea of how rare they are in each area.

Terms and Conditions

You are responsible for your own safety during your activity during National Sawfish Sighting Week. You are also responsible for not breaking the law. Remember, sawfish are protected in Australian waters, and cannot be targeted without a permit. Engaging in unsafe activities like for example freediving in murky coastal crocodile habitat in Far North Queensland will exclude you from the prize draw.

Anybody who registers by the deadline of midnight on October 22, 2023 (AEST) AND reports their sawfish sighting activity from one day in week of October 23-29, 2023 by the deadline of November 1, 2023, midnight AEST, will go in the draw for our prizes. If you and your mates are going on the boat together, you can only make one submission for your team, unless you are engaging in separate activities, e.g. one person flying a drone, one person fishing.

Prizes include:

  • 10 neoprene sunnies straps and stickers
  • 3 Sawfish Spotter T-shirts
  • 1 participation on one of our upcoming expeditions in 2024*

*Our field expeditions are a once in a lifetime chance, but are physically demanding. You must be physically fit to participate. Our normal booking terms and conditions apply. Participation in an expedition cannot be exchanged for money, and cancellation within 40 days of the expedition forfeits your participation.

Prizes are transferrable. We are more than happy to send the prize to a friend or family member that shares your passion for the environment. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

This campaign is funded by is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.