Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute via twitter

A study linking Floridians’ seafood consumption, dolphins, and increased levels of mercury is leading researchers to say dolphins may be the key to identifying public health risks in humans.

On average, Floridians consume more seafood than the general U.S. population. And, human exposure to mercury tends to come from the consumption of fish and shellfish. Too much could become a health hazard.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

A discovery into dolphin genetics may have brought research scientists one step closer to finding out the source of a mysterious animal die-off last year in the troubled Indian River Lagoon.

“Now, I gotta good one for you: if you’re swimming in the water and a fin comes up right by you, how can you tell instantly whether it’s a shark’s fin or a dolphin’s fin,” asked Barry Legé.

The answer? A shark fin is more straight, while a dolphin’s fin is more curved.

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

About 160 bills are expected to take effect Tuesday, including this year’s budget. One research institute is hailing it as a victory, after the Governor signed the budget into law containing a provision that helps fund projects to help the Indian River Lagoon.