The present study examines the operational interaction between critically endangered monk seals Monachus monachus and artisanal fisheries in the Foca Pilot Monk Seal Conservation Area, Turkey between 1994 and 2002. One to four permanent researchers collected the data on this interaction during the seal sighting data inquiries. Interviews with the fishermen provided 142 direct interactions with monk seals around the fishing gear. Among these encounters damage to fishing gear, including gill nets (53%), trammel nets (37%), longlines (9%) and a lure (1%) was recorded 90 times. However, no difference was found in damage between gill and trammel nets. Although, the damage inflicted by seals per occasion was found to be substantial (maximum 462.5 USD per occasion), the overall annual economic impact on the artisanal fishery was found to be modest. Limitation in soaking time of nets; long-line use instead of nets in MPAs where monk seals survive; and low interest credits to be given to those fishermen who suffer monk seal damage, are proposed as appropriate management practices. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.