Sawfish Capture Bag (aka the ‘Pristi Pouch’)

Sawfish Handling Solutions

The husbandry of sawfish represents various challenges to the aquarist, not least the fact that can grow to a very large size (4metres+), possess a sword-like, tooth-lined rostrum that can be wielded with the consummate ease of a medieval knight and are invariably resident in large enclosures!

Challenge 1 - The need to move a sawfish.

This is always a tense time, with a close interaction between divers and large animals where both must need to be considered in the procedure. It requires the equipment used to be specifically designed for the task, which is why the Pristi-Pouch was developed.

It is based on a design that has been successful in other sawfish handling events around the world but that has been a further adapted by aquarists experienced in large elasmobranch movements and handling. Its shape and features have all been added to successfully and safely complete whatever sawfish handling project you may encounter.

Key Features:

  • A tailored shape which helps guide the sawfish and limits movement when the sawfish is in the bag
  • Trim weight pockets on the underside for countering movement or pushing of the bag along the enclosure floor and as ballast for any attached trim floats
  • Trim float webbing loops allows the attachment of multiple, small floats along the topside of the bag to assist in keeping the bag open, freeing up divers for monitoring and guiding the sawfish into the bag
  • An access strip along the top of the bag with handle, through which a diver can place a feeding pole with attached food at the bag entrance and help lure into the bag
  • A fast-close drawstring allows easy manipulation and closure of the bag once the capture is complete
  • It features handles in various places which ensures there is handle control wherever it is needed
  • Reinforced seams and extra thick Velcro for securing access points
  • Offset drainage holes in the top and bottom of the bag reduces the potential for the rostrum to get caught during the capture

Challenge 2 – Close contact veterinary care or health examination.

In the event of needing direct veterinary care, the Pristi-pouch has features to allow thorough examination and the administration of any veterinary medicine products.

Specific access has been created to allow veterinary procedures to be carried out with minimal hassle.

Key Features:

Along with the features described for moving there are other features that specifically cater for veterinary care

  • Left and right gill area access slots, secured with 50mm wide Velcro allow the application of sedatives or anaesthesia directly area the area it can be quickly taken up by respiration
  • The top side access strip (also secured with 50mm wide Velcro) can expose the appropriate flank area for the administration of intramuscular injections
  • An underside access strip with handle secured with Velcro is positioned to allow unrestricted access to the ventral area for caudal vein blood sampling

The Pristi Pouch has been designed and developed to prioritise animal and diver welfare and ideally would also be used in conjunction with positive reinforcement behavioural training and managed habituation with the equipment in situ.

Sawfish Capture Bag Dimensions

  • Length - 400cm
  • Width (Front) - 160cm
  • Rostrum area - 120cm
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag A
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag E
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag L
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag M
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag G
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag C
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag N
Pristi Pouch Sawfish Bag P