Studies examining the efficacy of marine protected areas (MPAs) rarely consider the potential for noncompliance. Violation of MPAs will typically occur near boundaries, so perimeter-to-area ratios will be important determinants of actual protection, suggesting that MPAs should be larger and likely fewer. The author investigated these competing criteria with a spatially structured model of a hypothetical marine fishery exploiting a sedentary reef-dwelling organism. The results highlight the important effects of noncompliance in realized MPA benefits and can explain why observed and expected effects might differ. Moreover, the results support a call for increased attention to rates of noncompliance and their ecological effects and greater collaboration among natural scientists, social scientists, managers, and stakeholders in understanding and altering illegal behavior.