Queensland Department Of Primary Industries Fisheries, CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA
The distribution of Pristis microdon, Pristis clavata, Pristis zijsron, and Anoxypristsis cuspidata is described for the Queensland coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Pristis clavata was documented to inhabit southern and western creeks and foreshore flats while the distribution of Pristis microdon is concentrated around the northern gulf rivers. Pristis zijsron was recorded in the north (Pine River), south (Flinders River) and western regions (Leichardt and Albert Rivers) of the Gulf with the highest concentration being along the foreshore flats of the western rivers. The highest concentration of Anoxypristis cuspidata was recorded in the offshore waters in the northern region of the gulf with large mature females observed in August. Stainless steel dart tags have been inserted into a number of Pristis microdon, Pristis zjsron and Pristis clavata with a combined recapture rate of 9%. The tagging technique for these species appears to be successful. The theory that Pristidae spp. has a pupping season corresponding with the warm moist north-west monsoonal circulation from December to March is discussed in this paper. Sawfish abundance mapping, tagging studies and sexual maturity data are discussed in reference to the gill net closure for spawning barramundi.