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Cultivation of seamoss (Gracilaria) in St. Lucia, West Indies

A preliminary report

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Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY,volume 22)


Numerous species of marine algae occur in the Caribbean (Taylor 1960), but little use is made of these seaweeds. An exception is ‘seamoss’, which is exploited in various areas. Seamoss is not an explicit term, and, depending upon the locale, refers to one or more species in several genera (Nichols et al. 1983). Whatever the species, the preparation is similar, and consists of crude, hot-water extraction or complete hydrolysis of the seaweed, yielding a gel or viscous polysaccharide. Sugar and various spices are added, and the preparation is served as a porridge-like concoction or a drink that may contain alcohol Seamoss is popular in many of the West Indian islands, and some of this popularity is certainly attributable to its alleged aphrodisiac properties.


  • seaweed
  • Gracilaria
  • G. debilis
  • G. domingensis
  • seamoss
  • cultivation
  • Caribbean

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© 1984 Dr W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht

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Smith, A.H., Nichols, K., McLachlan, J. (1984). Cultivation of seamoss (Gracilaria) in St. Lucia, West Indies. In: Bird, C.J., Ragan, M.A. (eds) Eleventh International Seaweed Symposium. Developments in Hydrobiology, vol 22. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-94-009-6562-1

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