Lair Of The Sawfish

Luke Tipple returns to Shark Week with his team to unravel the mystery behind one of the strangest creatures, the sawfish. They set out on the most dangerous dive to help bring this rare creature back from the brink of extinction.

In January 2017, filmmaker Rob Stewart died while diving on the 230-foot-deep wreck of the Queen of Nassau. He was attempting to lm a rarely seen monster sh that can grow to 18 feet, and has a jagged sword for a snout, the Sawfish. Now, a team of elite divers and scientists are returning to the site to discover this alien species.

The critically endangered Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) is often thought of as the missing link between sharks and rays. Over the past half-century, Sawfish populations have declined dramatically due to a combination of habitat loss and capture in sheries. Historically, fishermen have sought sawfish for their meat and their highly prized rostrum (the saw-like nose), they are also frequently victim to by-catch. This trip may be one of the last chances to lm these beautiful creatures before mankind pushes them into extinction.

The wreck is deep — really, really deep. It’s far beyond the reach of recreational divers, but the crew in our technical diving team are some of the best in the business. Led by Luke Tipple and Greg Mooney, the dive team aims to film, measure, and determine the sex of these elusive animals to see if they could possibly be using the wreck as a seasonal home. The information collected on this mission may be critical in understanding their migration patterns, increasing the authorities’ ability to protect sawfish from commercial sheries and poachers.

LAIR OF THE SAWFISH is the first documentary to unveil the mystery behind one of the strangest creatures in the sea. While cataloging their life cycle from juvenile to adult, the team will reveal evolutionary links to their cousin sharks and realize the importance of Sawfish to the ecosystem.



Conception, Production, Editorial, Post

Running Time

42 minutes


Nature Documentary


Discovery Channel

Production Company

Delve Media & Radley Studios

Executive Producer

Luke Tipple


Eli Odegaard and Wes Coughlin


Wes Coughlin

behind the scenes
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