Dr. Erich K. Ritter
Erich Ritter 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 and Hawaii. He conducts his field research primarily in the Northern Abacos, Bahamas at the "Shark Education & Research Center" (SERC).
Ritter is the head of the SharkSchool™, an organization that 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 SAVN™, the Shark Accident Victim Network, and non-for-profit organization to help shark victims. He has given lectures worldwide and was guest on many different TV shows, including a quick appearance in the movie SharkWater (www.sharkwater.com).
Ritter's main expertise is the body language of sharks, with a major interest in shark accidents and their causes. Many of the old theories of why sharks bite have been erased through his experiments, and new ideas proposed. He 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.
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.
"... 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..."