Michael Rutzen

Areas of expertise

Member statistics

Member since
16th October 2007

Through my work as a diver, ecotourism operator and cameraman I have had the privilege of diving with the 3 species of shark considered most dangerous to man; the bull shark, tiger shark and great white shark. I work closely with these sharks outside the cage and the images I create are used by the media to portray sharks in a positive light. Some critics accuse me of being macho but I believe that shark behaviour can be deciphered and manipulated like that of any other large predator such as a lion or bear.

Of course there is an element of risk and people often ask me, “What happens if I get bitten?” I think it is more interesting to pose the question “what do we learn about the animals if I don’t get bitten?” Sharks are naturally curious, surprisingly forgiving and will even seek out physical contact with humans! However they are also being slaughtered at a rate of between 100 – 200 million every year. The majority of people still view sharks as blood thirsty mindless killing machines as portrayed in JAWS. The reality is that they are crucial to maintaining a healthy and balanced marine ecosystem on which our future depends.

Shark Diving Unlimited

Michael Rutzen's activity

  1. October 2007
  2. Michael Rutzen rated Dive with Reef Sharks in the Grand Bahamas

  3. Michael Rutzen reviewed Dive with Reef Sharks in the Grand Bahamas in Bahamas

    When I am not working my favourite dive is in Grand Bahamas with the Caribbean reef sharks. The dive operators here do hand feed the sharks which in some peoples view as controversial. But I believe that the diver’s positive experiences out weigh any pos…"

  4. Michael Rutzen rated Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai

  5. Michael Rutzen reviewed Diving with Great whites in Gansbaai in Western Cape, South Africa

    I have spent many years free diving with great white sharks and have had countless requests from divers to take them with me. Although my expertise allows me some freedom to interact with them I am not driven by money and will not take paying clients to …"

  6. Michael Rutzen reviewed Tiger sharks at Umkomaas in Kwazulu, South Africa

    Tiger sharks are considered the second most dangerous shark to man and it is true that they are indiscriminate predators. But after diving with them I’m convinced that we are not on their menu! Diving with tigers is a mesmerising experience and some reac…"

  7. Michael Rutzen rated Tiger sharks at Umkomaas

  8. Michael Rutzen reviewed Bull Sharks at Protea Banks in Port Shepstone, South Africa

    This beautiful rocky reef supports a healthy population of bull sharks. The sharks are more often seen in the summer months between November and March when the water temperature ranges from around 19 to 24 degrees C. They are impressive animals with a hu…"

  9. Michael Rutzen rated Bull Sharks at Protea Banks