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The great white is the “lion of the ocean,” keeping seal, squid and fish populations in check, Fischer said. But it’s also the shark that people are most interested in, making it a gateway for ocean conservation and advocacy, he said.

Catching a shark starts with chum, drawing sharks to the boat by placing whale blubber and other shark favorites in the water a mile out from the ship.

Fischer says the crew doesn’t draw sharks, as critics have claimed, but merely leads nearby sharks to the boat.

Most of Fischer’s crew spends each day on a boat barely bigger than the great whites, traveling among chum locations and looking for sharks.

Just after dusk on Sept. 13, they spotted a great white and hooked it. Then, the small boat’s crew slowly led the shark four miles to the 126-foot Ocearch.

Ocearch Capt. Brett McBride guided the shark onto the wooden platform with metal sides. Barefoot, he jumped in too. The lift slowly rose out of the water, level with Ocearch’s deck.

The shark thrashed and bared her teeth as the water receded, curving her head and tail into the air.

McBride threw a wet towel over her eyes and removed the two-foot hook from her mouth. He pumped water over her gills with two large hoses.

The crew jumped onto the lift in their jeans and long-sleeve shirts, and the clock began.

They measured the fish _ 14 feet, 8 inches and 2,292 pounds _ and screwed the satellite tag, an accelerometer and an acoustic tag onto her dorsal fin with a power drill. Researchers collected blood and tissue samples.

McBride named the female shark Genie after renowned shark researcher Eugenie Clark.

After nearly 15 minutes, everybody scrambled off as the lift was lowered back into the water.

McBride grabbed Genie’s tail and slowly guided her back into the ocean. They were done in 16 minutes flat. Genie drifted down into the dark water. The crew clinked beer cans and soda cups.

“That one shark alone was worth the trip,” McBride said, noting she might lead researchers to breeding and birthing sites. “Any time we tag a great white shark it adds tremendous information to what we already know, which is very little.”

Genie has pinged several times in the waters off Nantucket. So far, she’s the crew’s only catch.

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