After researching the internet what for me is a very important matter, I was advised to post in this forum and that I would be able to get support on this issue.
I have issued a complaint on a dive instructor who is abusing marine animals and quite often. He is both a PADI and a SSI instructor. Our island and surrounding area is a designated National Marine Park and is a protected area as we have many unique species of fish, marine life, plant life and animals. This is also where the endangered Monachus Monachus (Mediterranean Monk Seal) calls its home as one of our islands is where they give birth to their pups.
Diving in the area has been prohibited for many years and after a lot of hard work and persuasion, the park authorities have only allowed diving here recently with great reluctance as they do not believe that divers will not harm or interfere with the marine life. This instructor consistently does just that. We are outraged and I need support to stop him doing this and to help keep the Marine park open to divers.
On June 16, 2015 I made a formal complaint to both PADI and SSI sending them a video and photos which document this behaviour. I also found out that another PADI instructor had reported him to SSI Greece about a month before I did. Nothing has happened and from what I have found out he was only given a warning. This unfortunately hasn't stopped him as only about a week ago he again posted a video where he is playing with an octopus in front of about 5 students on his facebook page. This video has since come down as there were threats of reporting him again.
In the photos I am attaching, in one he is literally digging the octopus out of its home and in another one he has placed an octopus on a child's mask during a lesson! He also encourages students to fondle and squeeze a large sponge which we have on one of the beaches that is used for the discovery dives. I am sickened to think that he can continue to blatantly do this and be the reason the Marine Park will close down for all divers. The Park authorities have recently promised that they will open up (hesitantly) the ancient wrecks in the area for divers of which we have many. I am from the island and want to protect my home and the Marine Park and want to share this beautiful area with all who respect it.
This is the video https://vid.me/YUJo and I am also attaching the photos as well as a comment on tripadvisor about this behaviour and how it is a regular thing.
Name of instructor: Papatzitzes, Evagelos (Vagelis)
SSI #: 742011
His school in Athens is called the Dive Blue Dream - which he operates during the winter. He also operates on the island of Alonissos in the summer for only 2 months and its called Alonissos Blue Dream (this is NOT to be confused with another reputable diving school called Alonissos Blue). He does the octopus "trick" in both schools.
I hope that I will get support in this matter and there will be feedback to both PADI and SSI! Like I said, it took us years and years to finally get diving allowed in our Marine Park. It would be a shame for them to close down the park for divers... and if this happens, it will be permanent for sure!