Members of the Aupicon Sea Moss Farmers Association in Vieux-Fort cried out in agony when Tropical Storm Bret passed, wreaking havoc on their plantations.
The sea moss that was connected to the ropes at sea, according to the sea moss growers, was torn off by the storm and floated to different sections of the sea, Maria Islet, and the mangrove.
The sea moss growers were actively looking for the sea moss that had fallen from the ropes on Saturday, June 24.
The loss of all the farms was estimated by Kerwin Samuel, president of the Aupicon Sea Moss Farmers Association, to be between $500,000 and $700,000 or more. Kerwin Samuel described the occurrence as a total loss.
You hardly ever obtain plants because all the farms are devastated. You must go and look everywhere in the mangrove.
Ropes were knotted throughout the mangrove, and some sticks were broken and yanked out, lamented the guy.
Another sea moss grower, Wendy Estaphane, stated: “Right now, there is nothing left.
Everything was sent to Maria Islet via the water. We are currently looking for anything we can find to transport them somewhere to dry.
Devan Leonce added that given that people who are not sea moss farmers have taken their sea moss that has floated to various areas of the sea and shoreline, their condition is quite frustrating.
“Sea moss has declined significantly. I notice a lot of people grabbing sea moss from the water who are not sea moss producers. For ourselves, we hardly ever get sea moss,” he remarked.
Another farmer claimed that the storm had severely damaged his or her farms and that they would require assistance from the government to rebuild.
The farmer exclaimed, “It’s amazing to see the amount of sea moss that is lying at Maria Islet and the mangrove.”
It’s a major setback for them, he continued, and it will take some time for them to recover.
“We have to retrace our steps. To tie back all the ropes is a laborious task. It’s a tremendous mess; some sticks broke,” the farmer lamented.
The Aupicon Sea Moss Farmers Association received 60 sea moss drying tables and floating devices from the St. Lucian government in April 2023 through Export St. Lucia.