No moss mar­ket

Buyer says there’s no mar­ket for Ir­ish moss and the in­dus­try is not ex­pected to re­bound any­time soon

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE -

Buyer says there’s no mar­ket for Ir­ish moss and the in­dus­try is not ex­pected to re­bound any­time soon.

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 i t.”

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.

“There is no Ir­ish moss left. It’s all junk. Ev­ery­thing’s in it.” Ron­nie Costain, owner, Ocean­side Sea­weeds

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