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Environment

"Mystery Eyeball" Appears to be From Swordfish

eyeball.jpg
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

That "mystery eyeball" that was found on a South Florida beach recently looks like it is from a swordfish. That's the word from researchers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They'll do genetic testing to confirm the identification.

“Experts on site and remotely have viewed and analyzed the eye, and based on its color, size and structure, along with the presence of bone around it, we believe the eye came from a swordfish,” said Joan Herrera, curator of collections at the commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. “Based on straight-line cuts visible around the eye, we believe it was removed by a fisherman and discarded.”

The approximately softball-size eye was recovered by a citizen in Pompano Beach on Wednesday. Wildlife officials received the eye later that day. Swordfish are commonly fished in the Florida Straits offshore of south Florida at this time of year.

A highly migratory fish, swordfish can be found from the surface to as deep as 2,000 feet. Swordfish in the Atlantic can reach a maximum size of over 1,100 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Swordfish feed on a wide variety of fish and invertebrates.