Nicole Watch will inform you about Nicole, the celebrity Great White Shark... The first ever recorded White Shark to swim across an ocean from one continent to another. Nicole swam from South Africa to Australia in just over three months, a 11'000 kilometres trip tracked by satellite. She then returned to South Africa where she was observed six months after her arrival in Australia, recognised by fin-printing (photographic identification of her first dorsal fin). The first ever recorded return transoceanic migration of any White Shark! She broke other records along the way, including dive depth down to 980 meters, ambient temperatures of 3.4 degrees Celsius, and sustained swimming speed of nearly 5 kilometres per hour.
Michael Scholl and the White Shark Trust have known this near four meter long female Great White Shark since 1999. Every year, Nicole appears around Dyer Island in July or August, and disappears from the area a few months later in November or December again, only to reappear the next year again. Her numerous encounters and observations over the years have created a particular bond between Michael and Nicole, only strengthened by the news of her amazing trip to Australia and back.
In this section of the web site, we will report observations and news about Nicole, and allow you to continue to read about this famous and amazing White Shark.
1st of November 2005

Mysteriously and worriedly, Nicole has not yet been observed in South Africa this year. She was last spotted one year ago, on the 2nd of November 2004, nearly one year after she was tagged with a PAT satellite tag.

Nicole has been a very regular visitor to the area around Dyer Island since 1999, with several observations recorded every year during the months of July through December. Hence, her absence appears as being very unusual, and our worries for her welfare are not exaggerated.

But then, again, maybe she is running late from her potential trip to Australia again... and we must remember that she is now approaching a size (and age) when she might become sexually mature. Present knowledge suggests that female White Sharks become sexually mature between 450 and 500 centimetres in length, but Nicole only measured an estimated 380 cm when we last observed her. We must however keep in mind that our knowledge about White Shark biology (and all 400 species of Sharks) remains extremely and painfully limited, so we might well be mistaken and White Sharks may well become sexually mature at an earlier size/age. Could Nicole have found love in Australia? Or did she find love in South Africa during her last visit and is now spending her long (14-20 months) gestation period in Australia? We do not know...

Anyway, the next couple of months will be crucial... we will devote our main attention upon Nicole in our field research around Dyer Island, and you will be the first people to know if we see her... So keep visiting this page on a regular basis for possible updates!