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Press Release for Friday, October 10, 2014

OCEARCH Founder and Expedition Leader Discusses Tracking Great White Sharks

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

Chris Fischer, expedition leader and OCEARCH founding chairman, will discuss “Tracking Great White Sharks: How Lessons from the Dinner Table Led to Global Exploration” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater, Building 14A, on the UNF campus. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Since 2007, Chris Fischer has led 20 global expeditions to advance science and education, while unlocking the many mysteries surrounding the life history of white sharks and other giants of the ocean. He has facilitated millions of dollars in collaborative ocean research, supporting the work of more than 70 scientists from over 40 international and regional institutions.

His ultimate goal is to explode the body of knowledge forward by enabling scientists and governments around the globe to generate groundbreaking data on the ocean’s apex predators in an open-source environment, while advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education through a dynamic shark-based curriculum.

Fischer and his team pioneered the method for capturing and releasing mature white sharks and other large marine species aboard OCEARCH, a 126-foot research vessel equipped with a 75,000-pound custom shark lift and powered by two Cat engines and three Cat generators. This one-of-a-kind system provides the opportunity for leading science teams to conduct unprecedented hands-on research on mature white sharks and other apex predators.

The expeditions and research by Fischer and OCEARCH have been chronicled by virtually every major news media organization in the world in over 170 countries in more than 7,500 news stories. From 2000 to 2009, Fischer hosted the Emmy-Award winning “Offshore Adventures,” a television series chronicling a life at sea: fishing, free-diving and conservation. “Offshore Adventures” was America’s most-watched outdoor television show of its kind during its 180-episode run on ESPN, winning a total of four Emmys.

In 2009, Fischer was inducted into the prestigious Explorer’s Club and in 2005, he joined the board of The Billfish Foundation, a leading marine conservation organization. Working cooperatively with the Foundation and other science-based organizations, he led researchers on various scientific missions, primarily to tag and study billfish.

OCEARCH is a non-profit organization focused on ocean sustainability and education, supporting leading researchers in attaining groundbreaking data on the life history, biology and health of sharks globally, while providing educators with the first of its kind K-12 STEM curriculum based on sharks.

This Distinguished Voices Lecture is sponsored by The Brotman Family Coastal Biology Lecture Series and the UNF Coastal Biology Flagship Program. All Distinguished Voices lectures are free and open to the public and require an e-ticket, however, seating is limited.

To get an e-ticket, visit For more information, contact Michelle Davis, UNF Coastal Biology Program, at (904) 620-2830 or at

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.