LeMaRns: A length-based multi-species analysis by numerical simulation in R

Michael A. Spence, Hayley J. Bannister, Johnathan E. Ball, Paul J. Dolder, Christopher A. Griffiths, Robert B. Thorpe

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Fish stocks interact through predation and competition for resources, yet stocks are typically managed independently on a stock-by-stock basis. The need to take account of multispecies interactions is widely acknowledged. However, examples of the application of multi-species models to support management decisions are limited as they are often seen as too complex and lacking transparency. Thus there is a need for simple and transparent methods to address stock interactions in a way that supports managers. Here we introduce LeMaRns, a new R-package of a general length-structured fish community model, LeMans, that characterises fishing using fleets that can have different gears and species catch preferences. We describe the model, package implementation, and give three examples of use: determination of multi-species reference points; modelling of mixed-fishery interactions; and examination of the response of community indicators to dynamical changes in fleet effort within a mixed-fishery. LeMaRns offers a diverse array of options for parameterisation. This, along with the speed, comprehensive documentation, and open source nature of the package makes LeMans newly accessible, transparent, and easy to use, which we hope will lead to increased uptake by the fisheries management community.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0227767
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020

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