The first zoning and marine regulations established for Koh Tao were back in 1994, which included the 3km protection zone from trawling, and a 1 x 5 km no fishing area in the front of Sairee Beach. These regulations received little attention, with most of the island residents being unaware of them being in place. It was not until much later that progress was made, when in 2008 the Save Koh Tao Community Group, along with many of their partners, began pushing for better marine and coastal area management systems to be put in place.
During the first few years, marine management focused on the symptoms development and use (ie. coral nurseries, artificial reefs, alternative dive sites, giant clam nurseries, sea turtle releases, etc), while the root of the problems could also be addressed. Over the period from 2008-2012 the group hosted many stakeholder meetings to discuss the issues with marine area usage, and discuss possible solutions. These meetings were later assisted with the Prince of Songkla University and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR). By 2012, the plans and new rules were ready to start being put into place, with the publication of the island master plan, entitled “Strategic Plan: Integrated Coastal Management for Koh Tao,” (note this is only available as a printed book in Thai language, however you can read a synopsis in English here.)