Scientists on shark expedition off Long Island

Experts have come to Long Island to track one of the ocean's most feared predators. The OCEARCH crew and a number of scientists will set sail for a nearly two-week expedition in the waters off eastern Long Island to learn more about sharks.

The research ship MV OCEARCH is ready to catch what scientists hope will be baby white sharks. Chris Fischer, the OCEARCH expedition leader, said they want to figure out where the sharks mate, give birth, and migrate. He said sharks are the balance keepers, the lions, of the ocean.

The focus of the expedition is to determine what role the New York region plays in the life history of sharks. Scientists suspect that the nearby south shore of Long Island may serve as a nursery area for the great white shark, a theory stemming from other sharks that have been in our waters. Last summer, Marylee gained fame as an Internet and Twitter sensation.

Fischer said scientists are starting to believe that just south of Long Island could be a birthing site of the North Atlantic white shark.

Merry Camhi of the Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium said these waters have more than 40 species of sharks and rays.

If researchers spot a juvenile shark, they will put a real-time tracking device on the fish. Once the white sharks are caught and brought onto the vessel, the scientists have about 15 minutes to execute up to 12 different tests before they have to return the sharks to the waters.