saint lucia sea moss

The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is known for its sea moss products worldwide.

Sea moss, also called Irish moss, grows along the Atlantic coasts of Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. Irish moss is cultivated in the region due to its numerous benefits that range from supporting gut health to its uses in the beauty industry for maintaining good skin conditions.

This article overviews everything you need to know about the farming of sea moss in St Lucia.

Please note - The Sea Moss Harvest only sells Wild Harvested Sea Moss. We believe educating our customers on all things Sea Moss to be important.

Varieties of St Lucia Sea Moss

st lucia sea moss

There are two kinds of Irish moss farmed in St Lucia: Genus Gracilaria and Eucheuma Cottonii.

Genus Gracilaria is also known as the gold sea moss because it is golden in colour. This golden colour is due to sun availability in the regions where they grow.

Eucheuma Cottonii variety is similar to the Genus Gracilaria. They both grow roughly in the same condition, with the significant difference being that Eucheuma Cottonii grows in clear water and closer to the water surface.

Growing St Lucia Sea Moss

growing sea moss

St Lucia farming of Irish moss considers several factors to ensure that the framing is done right and thus profitable to the farmers.

Among the things that are taken into consideration include:

Site selection

Site selection for the mariculture of the Irish moss is vital because the different types of sea moss require different conditions to be grown. Therefore it's not always possible to grow them in their natural environment. For instance, gold sea moss, one of the sea moss varieties grown in St Lucia, cannot be grown in areas that have sheltered bays. These bays lack enough water to keep the sea moss from accumulating sediments, mainly when there is sediment runoff from the land during heavy rainfalls.

Currently, sites on windward coasts have been proven to be most productive for growing sea moss. These sites are ideal because they have shallow seagrass and offshore reefs that limit ocean wave action.

Other factors such as heavy seasonal rainfall affect the site selection process. Genus Gracillaria variety of sea moss can handle a drop in salinity in the water; hence, heavy rainfall is not affected much. However, the Eucheuma Cottonii variety cannot handle a drop in water salinity associated with heavy rain.


seeding sea moss

Seed material for the Irish moss is obtained from either collecting it in the ocean from the wild population or sourcing it from established local farmers. The wild population may sometimes not be suitable for seeding since it contains other plants with irregular shapes and textures.

After obtaining the seed material, seeding for the Genus Gracilaria variety is done by weaving sea moss between stands of a rope with no spaces between the seaweed. The Eucheuma Cottonii variety is seeded in plastic mesh bags, and its branches grow through the mesh and are trimmed when they are big enough.

Seeding can also be done by inserting cuttings on a short rope and hanging these ropes too long ropes. When they are ready for harvesting, they are removed from the ropes completely or pruned, allowing them to regenerate for the next season.


planting sea moss

Seeded lines are tied to plastic bottles a few feet apart to let them float at the water surface. These lines can also be anchored by mangrove stakes driven down to the sand to keep the plants at the surface.

Care and Maintenance of the Plot

maintaining sea moss

Maintenance of these Irish moss plots is easy once site selection and seeding are appropriately made. The maintenance process often involves checking if the lines on which the Irish moss has been planted on the ropes are still anchored to the stakes. This process ensures that the Irish moss can withstand bad weather and continue floating at the water's surface.

Pests affecting Irish Moss

Some pests affecting growing sea moss include:

  • Drift Seaweeds

Drift seaweeds entangle themselves in the lines where the Irish moss is growing and loosen the plant's grip from its growing line. Drift seaweeds are particularly a nuisance during the rainy season.

  • Epiphytes

Epiphyte seaweed grows from the spores attached to the Irish moss; hence, they foul themselves with it. The fouling forms a thick layer that traps silt, and the Irish Moss ends up covered with mud that may cause it to die.

Harvesting of St Lucia Sea Moss

Harvesting of sea moss in St Lucia is done in two significant ways. The first way is by cutting the branches off the base from which the sea moss grew, and this method allows for the regeneration of sea moss from the base for the next growing season.

The second method involves completely cutting off the Irish moss from the lines room in which it was growing. Farmers using this method are forced to re-seed for the next growing season.

The harvesting method is subject to the variety of the Irish moss grown in St Lucia and its site. In muddy areas, the bases of the plant will be covered with sediment and foul seaweed; hence it is best to cut the sea moss off completely and re-seed it for the next planting season. The gold sea moss variety is mainly grown through this method. Once harvested, the sun plays a crucial role in killing foul seaweed still attached to the growing lines.

When the growing lines are clean, the Irish moss is harvested by cutting the seaweed branches and leaving the base intact. The Eucheuma Cottonii variety is best suited for this method as it grows a firm grip on anything it attaches itself to.

Processing of Sea Moss

Cleaning is the first step of the processing; it helps remove silt and mud from the seaweed. Cleaning is done when the sea moss is still alive in the seawater before it is dried. Cleaning it alive is because cleaning dried is tedious, and it involves soaking the sea moss in water first, making it difficult to maintain nutrients.

High temperature and sun availability are essential for the bleaching process. During this time, the Irish moss pigments are bleached and any water dried out by the sun's heat. After the bleaching process, the sea moss is removed from the bags and left out in the open spaces for further drying but sheltered from the rain.

Once the sea moss is dry, it is shaken to eliminate any salt crystals that might have formed on the surface and impurities. The sea moss is then ready to be sold.

Marketing Sea Moss

The Irish sea moss is packaged uniquely in different forms such as sea moss gel, canned concentrates, and drinks sold in shops and supermarkets. The packaging should have a small amount of moisture to avoid it from moulding.

The sea moss will fetch the lowest prices if the original packaging is not attractive since the sea moss might not sell as it appears bad. To fetch the best prices, farmers add recipes for how to cook the raw sea moss, and such packaging encourages a customer to purchase the Irish moss.

A producer's key marketing strategy is to be aware of their competition, which makes them have high standards for the sea moss they produce and hence sell good quality. A producer builds a good reputation and customer confidence by selling high-quality sea moss.


St Lucia sea moss is one of the well-known Caribbean products. Farmers in the area put a lot of effort into growing, harvesting, and processing the sea moss to ensure that the customer enjoys the best Irish moss.

The Sea Moss Harvest recommends to always source Wild Harvested Moss when possible