Across Southeast Asia, fishermen are finding it harder and harder to land the catches they need. Overfishing, habitat destruction and marine pollution have significantly damaged fish stocks and fish breeding grounds throughout the region. In an attempt to reverse this decline, many countries have set up marine protected areas (MPAs). The idea behind such projects is twofold: not only are the reserves meant to provide a safe haven for fish and other marine flora and fauna to breed and flourish, they are also meant to help surrounding fishing areas recover by 'seeding' surrounding waters with fresh fish stocks. This study has investigated one such MPA to see how it has performed and to find out whether it actually benefits surrounding fishing areas. The results of the study are an endorsement for this approach to fishery conservation. They show that the establishment of the MPA has helped improve habitat quality, fish biodiversity, and fish biomass within the reserve area. There are also strong indications that it has enhanced the economic profitability of the surrounding coastal fishery areas. Given better enforcement and support, it is thought that the zone could make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of fishing in the region - and that it could be a model for other regions where fishing is in crisis.