Welcome to SharkSchool™
Many divers have seen a shark or two. But who knows what the intention of the animal was when it approached, which factors affected the situation the most, or how its swim pattern should have been interpreted? SharkSchool™ focuses on the behavior of sharks with special emphasis on interacting with them. SharkSchool™ is headed by Erich Ritter PhD, the world’s only field biologist specialized in shark-human interaction and behavior.
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December 5, 2013: Ground breaking research. I have the pleasure to announce that our scientific paper that will appear in the new issue of ANIMAL COGNITION, made it onto Springer Select's list as a paper labelled "of ground breaking research." We could finally prove that sharks understand where the front and back of humans are. I would also like to thank my co-author Professor Reid Amin.
November 30, 2013: 11th fatal shark accident in 2013. Zac Young, an 18-year-old surfer did after having been bitten in both of his legs in Australia. The authorities of New South Wales start to consider controlled culling of white sharks. A unacceptable consideration despite this tragic event.
November 8, 2013: Interpol issues warning of shark finning method. In 2011 shark-finners sought to beat Costa Rican law by hacking away shark’s flesh and leaving the spinal column. Two years later, Interpol now issues an alert about the technique, prompted by the Costa Rican government.
August 25, 2013: Increase in shark bites in Hawaii a coincidence. Hawaii has experienced four shark accidents in the past three weeks. Kim Holland, who is part of a team that has tagged and tracked plenty of sharks in Hawaiian water, speaks of an unfortunate coincidence but nothing more. The likely involved sharks believed to be tiger sharks but it is more than just doubtful that just a single shark caused these incidents.
June 6, 2013: Japan does not accepted the newly protected shark species by CITES. Japan is filing a "reservation" about the regulation with the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species" to restrict cross-border trade in the oceanic whitetip, the porbeagle and three hammerhead species. It is Japan''s position that these species should be managed under the existing management bodies.
November 4, 2012: SHARK-HUMAN INTERACTION. The most concise book on shark-human interaction ever written, is now available. A must for everybody who enters the water and likes to know how to interpret a situation with a shark... http://www.sharkschool.com/shark-human-interaction/
November 1, 2012: Pre announcement: SharkSchool and WIRODIVE will launch a different kind of shark organization soon.... more at the BOOT tradeshow in Germany, 2013.
August 21, 2012: SAVN is on-line again. The Shark Accident Victim Network's web site is on-line again: stats, news, latest incidents, Dos & Don'ts and much more: http://www.sharkvictimnetwork.org.
August 20, 2012: One of the most famous animal behaviorist stands up for our animals: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201208/sharks-and-humans-much-needed-corrective.
August 5, 2012: Shark tournament in Pensacola. Every year Pensacola - Ritter’s hometown - organizes a shark tournament: bulls, tigers and hammerheads are the targeted species... Sunday afternoon is the biggest crowd and he decided to launch his protests during that time. His two banners read “Real men don’t reel” and “Put a hook thru the face of a fisherman for a change????” It took no more than 5 minutes until the first people zoomed in on him and started calling him names... despite being labelled with every word in the book he tried to communicate with some of these imbeciles but such was not possible... Some of them were intoxicated and it was just a matter of time until they used a different form of communication... the police decided to come closer but so did the news journals and TV crews... and he was able to give his spiel on why it is wrong to kill sharks for the sake of fun... but the worst was - and Ritter made a point of it - were all the families with their children... glorifying killing sharks in front of kids is just plain wrong... one more tournament where sharks were killed for the sake of fun and “manhood.” But one thing is for sure: even a single person can create a stir and some of the people who used their iphones and cameras to capture the situation may rethink when they look at it again.
June 12, 2012: Fiji plans to protect sharks within their EEZ. In about 1 week, the ‘Ministry of Fisheries & Forest’ will present the proposal for a shark sanctuary during their next cabinet meeting.
May 31, 2012: Available November 15, 2012. The most concise book on shark-human interaction ever written. A must for everybody who enters the water and likes to know how to interpret a situation with a shark...
April 14, 2012: Shark interaction on one breath. Coming fall we introduce a new course. Freediving with sharks - for beginners and cracks... Learn to perfectly time an interaction with a shark, predict its pattern and then approach accordingly. The ultimate experience for body and mind when being among sharks.
March 28, 2012: Stupidity rules in BRUSSELS. The European Union tries to endorse strict(er) shark fishing rules to finally (!) ensure that fishermen respect the ban on slicing off the fins of their catches and throwing the live body overboard (often still alive). Although the EU prohibits shark finning since 2003, exemptions were made that allowed fishermen with special permits (!!!!!!!!) to remove the fins from their carcass out at sea and land the remainders together or land them in different ports. One more time this commission misses the point: a finned shark has the same effect as a legally killed shark on our ocean: increasing devastation. One has to wonder: how good will a new law be, when there are no sharks left?
February 18, 2012: Available by the end of April: "Sharks, Humans, Devastation?" A PowerPoint presentation to spread the word about sharks (translated / adapted from the PPT that is already in circulation within German speaking countries). This PPT comes with 200 slides, animations, video clips, and 50 pages of information. The presentation follows a certain theme but can changed, extended, shorted or mixed with additional pictures. A must for everybody who wants to change people's attitudes about these animals. Great for club evenings, schools...
January 11, 2012: Available in English early July: The German written bestseller "Haie - Menschen - Begegnungen" (Sharks - Humans - Encounters). The most interaction oriented guide ever to face sharks when swimming, wading, diving... Knowing what to do, how to interpret a situation, what it means when sharks circle, approach head-on... Read about what it truly means when a shark lowers its pectoral fins, yawns, chafes, flickers... Interception rules, safety rules, guide lines, dos & don’ts... written in a concise manner to fit every travel bag.
November 8, 2011: From 2012 on: when joining an INTERACTION I or INTERACTION II workshop in the Bahamas, participants will have the opportunity to get an introductory course into freediving with sharks - for free (no prior knowledge needed).
September 7, 2011: New talks take place in January / February 1012 (Public appearances). Let us know if you like Erich Ritter / SharkSchool to give a presentation at your facility.
August 20, 2011: Seychelles' fatal incident
A lot has been written in the last few days but most is guesswork and blaming whoever can be blamed. A few days ago it supposedly was a 6 foot bull shark who killed Ian Redmond, now it likely is a white shark, as some “experts” suggested... And they keep guessing. Well, the local medical examiner should get off his high horse and discuss (!) the autopsy pictures with people who know the difference of a wound caused by a bull, a white or a tiger. THEN one has to look at the bigger picture. These multiple wounds are not just highly (!) unusual, they clearly point towards one thing: this shark did not try to figure Ian out, this shark was lured in and then acted on the situation... Wounds do tell, so why do the authorities wait? And to make it even worse: professional shark fishermen are currently flown in to catch the “rogue”... Arrogant, ignorant and stupid.
June 19, 2011: This is just plain wrong... Horta, Azores.
SPREAD THE WORD: THEY ARE ACCIDENTS
This video is part of our DVD on shark-human interaction, check our on-line shop.
SPREAD THE WORD: SHARKS NEED YOU - BE A VOICE
Without sharks, the oceans will die
Sharks are probably the most misunderstood creatures on this planet. Feared by most, these creatures lack the much needed lobby to stop their on-going slaughtering. The killing of sharks is one of the biggest ecological time bombs. A bomb that will go off if not defused in time. Sharks have been around for over 400 million years, making them one of the most successful creatures in the animal kingdom with humans as the only true threat for their very existence. It is estimated that over 150 million sharks are killed each year because of their fins, as by-catch or through “sport” fishing.
The protection of sharks is crucial for the balance of the oceans, earth’s main producer of oxygen. An important step towards protection is the elimination of the unsubstantiated fear of sharks and the myth surrounding them. It is human's nature to only protect what is loved, and not what is feared. However, this irrational fear of sharks needs to be eliminated and all the erroneous information erased. One way for a better understanding is the active interaction with sharks and spreading the word that there is no such thing as a dangerous shark - just dangerous situations, created by humans, knowingly, unknowingly or by third parties.
Sharksschool™ locations, new in 2011: Fiji and Tahiti
SharkSchool™ brings divers, snorkelers and swimmers closer to sharks, with the intention to show the true nature of these incredible animals.