Laminaria beds in Brittany have been harvested for nearly 150 years. First, current knowledge about the resource is reviewed. Next, trends and development of the seaweed harvesting fleet over the past twenty years are examined. This fleet appeared in the early seventies, and its behaviour was identical to that of other types of fisheries. The provisions to regulate access, called for by the professional organizations, have deteriorated, leading to malfunctions within the fleet itself. In spite of a relatively stable resource, international economic conditions have also heightened the initial difficulties. The appropriate management methods to restore the situation are proposed.