"It's critical that the chase boat team gets the fish away from the mother boat," said Domeier. "The main battle takes place a safe distance away."
The team uses fishing line that can hold more than 5,000 pounds and is attached to four weighted buoys. The chase boat battles the shark until it's tired out.
Then the crew members lead the shark back to the mother boat, where they carefully ease the shark onto a forklift-like platform attached to its side. The platform can hold 37 tons.
They raise the shark out of the water. Then begins a race against time.
They hydrate the shark's gills with a hose to keep it alive. They cover its eyes with a wet towel. They secure its tail.
From the moment the shark is hoisted out of the water, the team has only 20 minutes to measure the creature, bolt the tracking device to the shark's dorsal fin and take a blood sample.
Domeier said he hopes the tracking device and blood samples will provide valuable information about great whites' migration routes, how sharks around the world are related and, most importantly, the sharks' birthing process.
Females only give birth every other year, and scientists know very little about their habits.
"That puts them on some kind of two-year migration pattern but we don't know where they go. Now we have the tools to get the pieces to put the puzzle together," he said.
The work is exhausting and risky, and mysteries remain.
Said Fischer, "I don't care what kind of fishing you've done, there's no kind of fishing like this."
National Geographic Channel's "Expedition Great White" premieres Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. For more information, click here.