ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- Right off Jacksonville's shore researchers are making history.
Up until now, scientists had burning questions about the great white shark.
"Where do they go? What do they do? Where do they reproduce?" said Marine Fishery Scientist, Dr. Greg Skomal.
The Ocearch exploration off our coast is helping scientists better understand the shark's habits using state of the art technology.
The team has just 15 minutes with the shark on the lift of their boat. They put their skills to the test Sunday with the capture of Lydia, a 14 foot, 2,000 pound great white.
"It's very stressful. There's a lot on the line right," said Ocearch Expedition Leader, Chris Fischer.
Those precious seconds allow the team to learn more about the species than ever before.
"We're really bombarding her in a very short period of time to just maximize the experience," said Dr. Skomal.
They collect tissue samples to study genetics and blood to find out if she's pregnant. And they attach tracking devices on her to follow her every move for years to come.
"For me it was actually very emotional because in 40 years of working on sharks on all different continents and never actually getting my hands on a great white," said Lead Scientist Dr. Robert Hueter.
And it was in the final moment, as Fischer watched Lydia be released that he says he was finally able to breath.
"There's a big sense of euphoria and relief when you see the shark swim away. The scientists have all their samples the tags are on and you look around and everyone has ten fingers and ten toes," he told Action News.
It's a mission accomplished, a breakthrough in science and this opportunity opened the door for new possibilities in the future.
"See now it changes everything. Because we know its possible," said Fischer.
The team hopes to have a few more days out in our waters to track down more sharks. They had to suspend their mission Tuesday because of weather conditions. They're try to go back out in the water Friday. They'll wrap it up Sunday. But they tell Action News Lydia alone is monumental for science.