Top News

Irish moss now a dead industry on P.E.I.

<p>Workers harvest Irish moss near Miminegash in this TC Media file photo.</p>
<p>Workers harvest Irish moss near Miminegash in this TC Media file photo.</p>

Buyer says no market because of contamination by other seaweeds, not expected to rebound soon

MIMINEGASH – A seaweed buyer in a community that once billed itself as the Irish moss capital of the world fears the Irish moss industry on P.E.I. might be history.

Ronnie Costain, owner of Oceanside Seaweeds in Miminegash, said he can find any market this year for Irish moss so he is not buying.

Costain said his company is buying another sea plant, called furcellaria, but only from fishermen who harvest Irish moss. He said they are not purchasing furcellaria gathered from the beaches.

“There is no Irish moss left,” Costain said. “It’s all junk. Everything’s in it.”

The once populous Irish moss beds in western P.E.I., he said, have been taken over by furcellaria and other seaweeds. Nobody seems to know why it happened.

Asked if he expects the Irish moss industry here to rebound, Costain responded, “Not in our lifetime.”

International buyers, Costain said, lost interest in Irish moss from P.E.I. and New Brunswick because there were so many other seaweeds mixed in with the Irish moss.

MIMINEGASH – A seaweed buyer in a community that once billed itself as the Irish moss capital of the world fears the Irish moss industry on P.E.I. might be history.

Ronnie Costain, owner of Oceanside Seaweeds in Miminegash, said he can find any market this year for Irish moss so he is not buying.

Costain said his company is buying another sea plant, called furcellaria, but only from fishermen who harvest Irish moss. He said they are not purchasing furcellaria gathered from the beaches.

“There is no Irish moss left,” Costain said. “It’s all junk. Everything’s in it.”

The once populous Irish moss beds in western P.E.I., he said, have been taken over by furcellaria and other seaweeds. Nobody seems to know why it happened.

Asked if he expects the Irish moss industry here to rebound, Costain responded, “Not in our lifetime.”

International buyers, Costain said, lost interest in Irish moss from P.E.I. and New Brunswick because there were so many other seaweeds mixed in with the Irish moss.

Recent Stories