About the theme


Chevron provided funding to WAMSI to research measures that remove barriers to sawfish migration in riverine habitats and to recommend measures to protect sawfish populations.

Globally, no fishways had been constructed specially for sawfish, and there were no fishways operating in sawfish habitats in WA.


  • Part of the study was to determine the swimming performance of sawfish to generate hydrological thresholds to ensure that construction of any fishway would enable passage. The results of this study determined if the design and installation of fishways is a preferred option for achieving the objectives to EPBC 2008/4469 Condition 66d.
  • Pending the results and recommendations of this study, Chevron was also to fund the design, fit or retrofitting of five sawfish-appropriate fishways or alternative measures to remove barriers to sawfish passage in riverine habitat in the Pilbara and/or Kimberley regions.


Morgan D, Wringer B, Allen M, Ebner B, Whitty J, Gleiss A, Beatty S (Jan 2016) What Is the Fate of Amputee Sawfish?  Fisheries Volume 41, Issue 2, 2016 DOI: 10.1080/03632415.2015.1125887

Morgan D, Allen M, Ebner B, Whitty J, Beatty S (February 2015) Discovery of a pupping site and nursery for critically endangered green sawfish Pristis zijsron Journal of Fish Biology doi:10.1111/jfb.12668

Whitty J.M., Keleher J, Ebner B.C., Gleiss A.C., Simpfendorfer C.A., Morgan D.L. (2017) Habitat use of a Critically Endangered elasmobranch, the largetooth sawfish Pristis pristis, in an intermittently flowing riverine nursery Endangered Species Research



Program: Other Projects

Location: Ashburton River, Myroodah Crossing and the Camballin Barrage on the Fitzroy River, and Ivanhoe Crossing, Lake Kununurra Diversion Dam

Theme Leader: David Morgan, Freshwater Fish Group and Fish Health Unit, Murdoch University


Final Report

May 2015 Annual Update