CHATHAM, MA (CBS/WBZ) -- Sunrise guides us to the Ocearch, three miles out. A 126 foot boat now sitting in a stew of great white shark bait sometimes floating, sometimes a paste, sometimes liquid, pretty down and dirty for an expedition with some lofty goals.
Chris Fischer says, "This is the home of Jaws. It's a 400-million-year-old secret and when we get a spot tag on these fish, we're going to solve that puzzle. Where do they breed? Where do they feed? When do they arrive? When do they depart? What are they doing?"
Questions Chris Fischer has been asking all over the globe using a sometimes controversial tactic of baiting, guiding, and temporarily lifting sharks out of the water for research.
State marine biologist Greg Skomal shows us the satellite tags that track sharks for five years. By pulling the shark up onto this wooden platform, researchers can get right up close and personal with the animal, and find out things about it they just can't tell when it's in the water. Skomal says, "We're able to take blood, look at parasites, tissue samples."
But in this area where sharks have made all kinds of headlines, even attacked one swimmer, it gives a surprising challenge. Fischer says, "If we just get one shark here, I'll be very happy for it."
As any fisherman will attest, the first catch can be the hardest. In this case hours of sitting, foot shuffling, and yes more chumming, even miles off the main boat. Fischer says, "Never been done before things will happen on this ship, so that doesn't come easy no matter what you're doing. Otherwise somebody would have done it before."
The Ocearch has about a week left here and plenty of chum to show for it, but still waiting to unlock that great white mystery.