Photo pros, after all, are not obligated to police others any more than anyone else. We will all do what's in our best interest.
Absolutely. Furthermore, I personally get along with quite a few pros and pro-am types but I won't dive with them or go on a trip if they are reef wreckers, no matter how much I like them. They are not going to change, I can't stand their behavior, but I'm not going to lose a friend over this. So the best defence is to not dive with the person. What I don't see (but often hear) doesn't hurt. They know exactly how I feel about it and they try their best, but if on a trip I just dive AWAY from all of them because I'd get all worked up. I learnt long ago that shoving doctrine on others is never as effective as just leading by example and stating your case. If they want to change, they will. A lot of these people are actually very nice people, they just have poor diving manners.
(please note I'm not an angel either)
Boat operators and dive guides also have motivations to look the other way. Many pros run trips and offer exposure to dive operations. Those operations don't want to jeopardize that. Group leaders and photo pros benefit from significant favoritism for this reason. As an individual diver, you may choose to keep your mouth shut so as to not lose preferential treatment. It's human nature. I've been on the good side of that and the bad side. I wish things were fairer but they are not.
For sure, that's the way of the world. I avoid operations that do this (unless they give me preferential treatmen
) because I pay good money and like equal treatment. I remember going to a resort in Fiji where the US rep came through. The food and quality of service was up 30% when they were there and went back down when they left. I'd be ok with that if I paid less than what the US rep clients paid but I don't (unlike around asia where you can get local rates which are 40-50% lower than gringo rates, but you get crappier food and service, which is fine by me if I pay the local rate). That said, there are the rare operators who will defend their pristine reefs against most anyone, even the pros.
While I love that resort, I'm aware that I've always gotten superior treatment from them. Why they can't offer superior treatment to everyone I don't understand but it's clear that people will always bend rules and do favors for friends.
One word... MONEY.