vis Save Our Seas Foundation, 29 March 2023: Sawfish, typically found in oceans and rivers, were proven to have existed in Lake Sentani, Indonesia, but have not been seen there since 1974; evidence of their historical presence can be seen in cultural records and artifacts, and efforts have been made to raise awareness through books and educational materials, as sawfish hold cultural significance for the Sentani indigenous people. Thanks to Hari Suroto for the link.
If you have ever heard that sawfish live in the oceans and rivers, that is normal. But have you ever heard that sawfish could also live in a lake? The answer is yes, they can. Precisely in Lake Sentani, Jayapura, Indonesia, it has been proven that sawfish existed in there. Unfortunately, it has been over three decades since sawfish have never been seen in the lake again. Several scientific articles state that the last time sawfish appeared in the lake was in 1974. However, not much information could be obtained from this research because sawfish were not the main study focus then.
So how did the sawfish start living in the lake?
Hari Suroto, Researcher at the Center for Environmental Archeology at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), explained that Lake Sentani was once part of the ocean. Due to geological activity, this sea turned into a lake. The sawfish trapped in this lake have finally adapted to their new environment.
Evidence of the presence of sawfish in Lake Sentani can be seen from the rostrum from Putali village that we examined. Based on information from the owner, this rostrum was obtained in the 60s when the owner took part in fishing around the lake with his parents.