JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Docked at the Riverwalk, right outside the Jacksonville Landing, is a vessel unlike any other in the world.
"It's a historic day in Jacksonville. We're thrilled to be here,” said Chris Fischer, the founding chairman of OCEARCH.
So, what brought the 126-foot MV OCEARCH, a boat known for capturing and tagging Great White sharks, here to Jacksonville?
"It appears that the puzzle of Jaws, the puzzle of the North Atlantic Great White shark, has a relationship with Jacksonville,” Fischer said.
Fischer, along with a team of scientists and fishermen, are here to figure it out. They’re curious why two of the most recently tagged Great Whites – Genie and Mary Lee – keep turning up near our coast.
"What we're trying to understand is does the North Atlantic Great White shark have some part of its life down here off of Jacksonville,” Fischer asked, “And if it does, what is that?”
So, armed with a 55,000-pound capacity platform, the crew is hoping to catch Jaws with the ultimate goal being to study and save them.
“We enable that 15 minutes of access and then we let the shark go alive so we can track and solve the puzzle of multi-year migrations,” said Fischer.
On Friday, Mayor Alvin Brown is expected to join the OCEARCH crew to announce their latest expedition.
"I'm very excited that it's here in Jacksonville where we get to showcase Jacksonville to the world," Brown said.
The boat is scheduled to set sail bright and early Saturday morning on an 18-20 day expedition.
Since 2007, OCEARCH has led 15 expeditions. This will be the group’s 16th.