The total ban on fishing in marine protected areas demands entailed that fisherman in nearby fishing communities look for an alternative means of livelihood. Often, such alternative livelihoods exploit the remaining terrestrial ecosystem found within or near these fishing communities. This paper introduced a trade-off economic model for marine protection-terrestrial exploitation through a Marine Protection Terrestrial Exploitation Curve (MPTEC). The peculiar characteristics of the fishing communities near marine protected areas (MPAs) are inputted to the trade-off model. Simulation results revealed that for the optimistic case (communities which are better educated and with small household sizes), the terrestrial ecosystems’ damage rate ranged from 3.7% to 28% for MPA sizes ranging from 3 hectares to 30 hectares, while in the worst case scenario (communities which have 6 years or less of schooling and with larger household sizes), the estimated damage rates for the terrestrial ecosystems ranged from a low of 8% to a high of 37% for the same range of MPA sizes. Damage to the terrestrial ecosystems within the fishing communities close to marine protected areas can be mitigated by minimizing the exploitation rate ρ which in turn depends on the socio-demographic characteristics of these communities. Alternative livelihood programs for affected fishing communities should veer them away from livelihoods that make use of raw materials coming from the various terrestrial ecosystems, e.g. mangroves. Ecotourism is one such livelihood project recommended following the Apo Island, Negros experience in the Philippines.