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On 7 November 2003 a female 3.8-metre Great White Shark was tagged near Dyer Island in South Africa. On 28 February 2004, her tag released itself 37 km south of the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. The shark, which would later be named Nicole after shark enthusiast Nicole Kidman, had swum an epic 11,000 km on her transoceanic journey, and prompted a rewrite of the life history of these powerful apex predators. Scientists were even more surprised when she was positively identiﬁed back in South Africa near Dyer Island in August 2004 – meaning she had covered 22,000 km in less than nine months, using pinpoint navigation both ways.
Many tagged Great Whites have since been shown to have undertaken long journeys; but Nicole's was the ﬁrst recorded there-and-back ocean migration.
Sharks are among the most persecuted animals on Earth. Nicole's block-buster story interweaves actual events and the efforts of intrepid scientists with conjecture as to what might have happened on the shark's journey. It is hoped this account of the world's most famous Great White Shark will put into perspective, and promote awareness of, the plight of sharks.
"[...] The book is richly illustrated and I found it an absorbing read. It also comes with a sting in the tail [...]"
– Steve Weinman, Diver Magazine
This is a fascinating and thought-provoking story that has been really well told. I liked the pace of the book and also that a huge amount of information came along with the story and yet didn't hinder it in any way. In fact my knowledge about sharks, and great whites, in particular, increased enormously without me even realising it!
That tagging has opened up a whole new insight into what these extraordinary creatures are up to and made me wonder what else is making these amazing journeys, unbeknown to us.
Even if you aren't already interested in sharks, you will be after reading this, and I only hope that we can learn from stories such as this to ensure adequate protection for sharks wherever they roam.
A great story and a great read.
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