In a multi-gear and multi-species artisanal fishery, the level of technical interactions (i.e. the competitive externalities resulting from a shared exploitation of common resources or fishing grounds) among various fishing units is high. Assessing these technical interactions is of great importance for fishery management, as any control applied to one fishing unit may have positive or negative effects on others. The magnitude and direction of these effects cannot be easily measured, unless all fishing units and species in the fishery are considered simultaneously. Technical interactions are particularly important in the complex artisanal fisheries of the English Channel. Using a bioeconomic model of the English Channel that incorporates all the major fishing units (the BECHAMEL model), we describe a method for measuring and classifying the technical interactions due to the competition for resource (stock externalities). The results are used to develop a typology of metiers and fleets based on their overall level of interaction for the resource. We also define fleets and metiers as structuring, dependent, intermediate or autonomous. (C) 2001 Ifremer/CNRS/Inra/IRD/Cemagref/Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.