On Dec. 28, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested 53-year-old Edward L. Snipe, of Lewes, for two counts of importation of parts of an endangered species.
Officers conducted an investigation after learning that Snipe was offering two smalltooth sawfish rostrums (bills) for sale. He was arraigned at Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on a $200 unsecured bond, pending an appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.
Smalltooth sawfish are found in coastal waters of Florida and were added to the federal Endangered Species list in 2003. According to Oceana, "The smalltooth sawfish is one of the largest species of sawfish, reaching lengths of up to 25 feet (including the rostrum). Though they generally resemble sharks in body type, the sawfishes are actually more closely related to the skates and rays. Unfortunately, overfishing and habitat loss have combined to drive several species of sawfishes to very low numbers."
Under Delaware law, the importation, transportation, possession or sale of any endangered species of fish or wildlife, or hides or other parts thereof, or the sale or possession with intent to sell any article made in whole or in part from the skin, hide or other parts of any endangered species of fish or wildlife is prohibited, except under license or permit from the Division of Fish & Wildlife.