Florida researchers set out to study sharks

Great White research ship leaves Jacksonville

Published On: Feb 23 2013 09:00:37 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 23 2013 09:01:09 AM EST

A group of scientists left Florida for a 20-day expedition into the habits and patterns of the Great White Shark.

A 126-foot ship named the MV OCEARCH left Jacksonville Friday. The expedition will allow scientists to study and tag Great White Sharks weighing more than 2,000 lbs.

Once the researchers wrangle a shark on board, they have 15 minutes to perform a health check on the shark and to attach a satellite tracking device. That device will send signals for up to two years, every time the shark surfaces.

Last fall, researchers aboard the ship examined and tagged a 16 1/2-foot Great White and dubbed it "Mary Lee," while off the coast of Cape Cod.

Scientists from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota are among the researchers aboard the ship.