Jacksonville University welcomed the M/V OCEARCH at the campus docks today, as the leading marine keystone species—mostly tiger and great white sharks—research enterprise has officially partnered with the university to call Jacksonville home.
City Council president Lori Boyer, head of JU Marine Science Research Dr. Quinton White and university president Tim Cost welcomed OCEARCH's founder Chris Fischer to the River City.
"I want to officially extend a welcome to OCEARCH at Jacksonville University," said Cost. "This project is over two years in the making and our collaboration ensures that we build a research partnership that are built not only for current students, but students in the future."
The vessel will most likely make port at an undetermined location in Mayport, when not stopping at various ports-of-call on its worldwide treks.
"Our planet lacks ocean data and time. Together, we can build an enterprise that makes researching our planet's resources beneficial for all who are involved," said OCEARCH founder Chris Fischer. "When people ask what the angle is, we say there is no angle. We give our research away. It is about the planet and it's resources. And now Jacksonville University students have the opportunity to see that with hands-on experience."
OCEARCH is renowned as one of the leading research enterprises of it's kind worldwide. Most in Jacksonville may recognize the vessel by their tracking of the 14-foot great white shark Lydia, who came within yards of the beach in 2013, and the great white Mary Lee two years later.