Wrasse species went from having almost no commercial value in Norway, and not being fished, to a landing of 21.2 million individuals in 2014 with 11.68 million of these being goldsinny. This explosive growth in fishing might have affected the populations of goldsinny severely. Establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) could be a helpful tool in management and conservation of goldsinny populations. Differences in selection of the two gear types used in the wrasse fishery (fyke nets and pots) could also affect the goldsinny populations. To test for effects of MPAs, I compared catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) of goldsinny above the legal size limit in four MPAs along the Norwegian Skagerrak coast to that obtained in four neighboring control areas where fishing is allowed. The CPUE of legal size goldsinny was higher in the MPAs compared to the control areas in all four localities, suggesting that MPAs have impacted the abundance of goldsinny. There was much variation in the size and age distribution of the goldsinny populations in the different localities, and no clear trends of changes in the size and age distribution of the goldsinny populations inside the MPAs were found. The gear type used in the wrasse fishery might also affect the populations since pots seemed to catch more goldsinny than fyke nets, whereas fyke nets seemed to catch larger sized goldsinny than pots. Catch data in this study compared to data from a study on the Skagerrak coast in the late 1990s indicates that the increased fishing pressure since then has affected the abundance of goldsinny on the Norwegian Skagerrak coast. Results from this study have shown that MPAs affect the populations of goldsinny on the Norwegian Skagerrak coast and MPAs could be a helpful tool in the management of this species.