Thieves are making life difficult for sea moss farmers, at a time when there’s a huge demand for sea moss.
The Praedial Larceny Unit says it has received numerous reports of sea moss farms in Aupicon, Vieux Fort and Praslin being raided by thieves.
Candita Joseph, a sea moss farmer from Savannes Bay, Vieux Fort told St Lucia Times that nearly every week she is losing crop she has planted.
Joseph has been in the business for about 30 years.
“We are facing a big challenge because these days there is a big demand for sea moss,” she explained.
According to her estimation, there are currently about 40 local sea moss exporters.
Joseph said she does not know whether the thieves are trying to sell their stolen crop to the exporters.
“I am losing a lot of sea moss – sometimes thirty ropes are empty,” Joseph told St Lucia Times.
Joseph said the thefts usually occur on Saturday when some farmers are at church.
She said thirty ropes of the crop amounts to about three bags of dry sea moss which would fetch some $1,000.
Joseph said the farmers have met with representatives of the Praedial Larceny Unit, the Department of Agriculture and other officials to discuss ways of addressing the situation.