Shark School Fiji
Erich K Ritter, PhD
- Behavioral scientist
- Research Associate, University of West Florida
- Head, SharkSchool
- Chairman, Shark Accident Victim Network
- Investigator, Global Shark Attack File, Shark Research Institute
- Book Author & public speaker
- 30 years of field research and applied teaching
- Specialized in shark‐human interaction with special emphasis on accident analysis and reconstruction
- World’s first bull shark interaction site for snorkelers established in Walker’s Cay, Bahamas
- Goal oriented education of commercial shark dive operation in the Bahamas, Azores and Red Sea
- Courses in applied shark‐human interaction taught in: Azores, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Maldives, Mexico, South Africa…
“There are no dangerous sharks ‐ just dangerous situations.”
Understanding these situations turns a shark encounter into a truly fascinating and safe experience. In more than 20 years of scientific research and fieldwork with sharks in their habitat, Dr. Erich Ritter determined the factors that lead into dangerous situations. From these he derived easy to‐apply shark‐human‐interaction‐ concepts which allow any swimmer, snorkeler or diver to stay safe and awe struck in the vicinity of sharks at all times.
SharkSchool – the Institution
SharkSchool was established more than 15 years ago in Miami, Florida as the educational division of the Shark Education & Research Center in the Bahamas. Its main purpose is to bring humans closer to sharks, focusing on how to interact with them and to emphasize their crucial position and importance in the marine realm.
The two main pillars of SharkSchool are
Ongoing scientific research on
- Shark behavior
- Shark accidents
Providing water sport, nature and shark enthusiasts the possibility
- for save and truly fascinating encounters with various shark species all over the world
- and exciting edutainment on sharks in general and human‐shark‐interaction in particular.
Head of SharkschoolTM and pioneer – Erich K. Ritter
SharkSchoolTM is run by Erich K. Ritter. He has a Ph.D. from Zurich University in “Behavioral Ecology” and is the only professional shark‐human interaction specialist. He did his post‐doc at the University of Miami’s Rosenschiel School. He taught field courses for students, naturalists and divers in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Maldives, Egypt, Mexico, Costa Rica, South Africa, Galapagos and Hawaii and is continuously exploring new destinations for human‐shark‐encounters. He conducts his field research primarily in the Northern Abacos, Bahamas at the “Shark Education & Research Center” (SERC).
Erich teaches divers, snorkelers, rescue swimmers and others how to interact with sharks, what to look for when entering the water and most importantly how to feel safe among sharks. He functions as a case investigator of the Shark Research Institute’s GSAF (Global Shark Attack File). He is also the chairman of SAVNTM, the Shark Accident Victim Network, and non‐for‐profit organization to help shark victims. He is giving lectures worldwide and was guest on many different TV shows, including a short appearance in the movie SharkWater.
Ritter’s main expertise is the body language of sharks, with a major interest in shark accidents and their causes. Ritter is considered the top authority and pioneer in shark‐human interaction. He developed the first concept (ADORE‐SANE) for swimmers, divers and snorkelers that allows safe interacting with any shark species under different conditions. He has spent the last twelve years collecting data from different shark species around the world. Besides some reef species, his primary focus is on bull sharks, lemon sharks and white sharks. All his lectures, classes and workshops he teaches in English and German.
The Science behind Shark‐Human‐Interaction
Shark Behavior / ADORE‐SANE
Erich Ritter is specialized in shark behavior. Dangerous situations are always created knowingly, unknowingly or by 3rd parties. To understand a situation is the core of every workshop taught. That is one of the main reason’s why Erich Ritter developed ADORE‐SANE, the world’s first and only shark‐human interaction concept to not just quantify and qualify every situation but likewise to understand the factors that influence a shark the most.
Thanks to Erich Ritter’s work, many old theories on shark behavior are proven to be outdated and simply wrong. Thus, also various inventions with a suggested shark‐repelling‐effect or common safety recommendations had been proven useless or even counter‐productive.
Erich Ritter is the only shark expert to recreate many of the typical accident scenarios with the respective species. His understanding of potential reasons for shark accidents opened new doors in this field of research. Many of the old theories of why sharks bite have been erased through his experiments, and new ideas for accident prevention proposed.
The Experience of Human‐Shark‐Interaction
The only precondition for your participation is that you can swim and are interested in sharks. Challenge yourself by meeting a fascinating creature in its natural habitat, knowing that it is a top predator and physically undoubtedly superior. Once you understand shark behavior you will lose your fear and win a much broader perspective of yourself. Furthermore you will always be able to encompass the situation of a shark encounter and act / react based on sound knowledge, and not on assumptions or emotions (such as trained fear of sharks). So the encounters will be joyful and safe.
Find out how sharks really are and clean up with the misleading picture that mass media, tragic accidents and horror movies like „Jaws“ are creating.Sharks are truly fascinating, superior predators. You will learn to interpret their body language, evaluate situations of the encounter, understand the sharks‘ social life and even their individual characteristics, personality and actual mood.Once you have started to really look at them with Erich Ritter’s background information, you will be awe struck by their beauty and perfection.
Those who got to know sharks, will want to support their conservation. By sharing his passion for sharks and by teaching every interested person about them, Erich is rising public awareness about how important sharks are for the oceans and therewith for life on this planet. His indefatigable, scientifically based advocacy for sharks is continuously creating more shark lovers and shark protectors.
“… there is no such thing as dangerous sharks, only dangerous situations. This fact must be made public… for the sake of the animals and our children… once mankind can get rid of its fear from sharks, then sharks can be protected… the over fishing and slaughtering of sharks is one of the biggest ecological time bombs of our time and the consequences will have a devastating effect ‐ not just for nature but mankind as well… the conscious interaction with sharks is an important tool for their better understanding…” Dr. Erich Ritter
Shark School Fiji – Beqa Lagoon Resort – Shark Site “Cathedral”
SharkSchool Fiji – The Workshop
Interaction I & II
All workshops revolve around ADORE-SANE, the world’s first and only shark-human interaction concept.
This workshop focuses on the interaction aspects of different shark species. It will be taught what to look for when facing a shark, which factor(s) influence(s) the situation the most and how to interpret an encounter. Everything learned in the classroom will also be tried and tested with and among free roaming sharks within changing situations to give a thorough introduction to different scenarios.
- Introduction to ADORE-SANE
- Daily in-water exercises (related to ADORE-SANE)
- Detailed introduction in shark behavior and interaction with sharks
- Overview of shark accidents, their analysis and interpretation
- Do’s & don’ts
- Daily lectures on ADORE-SANE
- Daily in-water exercises on shark-human interaction (related to lectures given)
- Interpretation of signaling among sharks
- In-water recreation of accident scenarios
- Additional exercises while snorkeling, free diving and scuba diving
Duration of the course
6 Seminar days and 5 double tank shark dives (10 dives)
Cost of the course
Stated cost apply additionally to your Beqa Lagoon Resort Dive Package booking.
Course Fee per person USD699.00 including 6 days daily seminars and 10 shark dives with Dr.Erich Ritter, upgrade from regular dive package to 10 shark dive package.