The legislature's marine resources committee recently voted down an attempt to repeal the Cobscook management plan. But it preserved instructions requiring the Department of Marine Resources to develop a statewide seaweed management plan, to be completed in draft form by January 2014. The Rockweed Coalition and its allies, which include the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Nature Conservancy, hope to see stricter controls enacted as a result.
Meanwhile, harvesting entities continue to insist that the current approach works just fine. One of those is Acadian Seaplants, of Nova Scotia, which has developed special hand-cutting tools that "are operated from a boat, and have been designed to selectively thin the standing crop, ensuring resource sustainability and the integrity of the habitat and marine life," according to the company's publication addressing frequently asked questions about rockweed. These cutter-rakes "cannot hold and cut rockweed if it is below a certain length and biomass." ^
: The Editorial Page