Conservation of Marimo Moss Balls

fluffballsco

Hi all!
I'm aware that this may come across as promotional, but it is just to raise awareness and interest, and I'm looking for some insight from you as well.

I'm working on starting a marimo moss ball retail website, and as a part of that I discovered that marimo are endangered in the wild.
For those that don't know, the marimo isn't actually moss. It isn't even a plant. It is a species of green algae.

They were first discovered in 1823 by a botanist in Austria and were soon after found in Japan, as well as other countries near Iceland. Marimo have been suffering in the wild since shortly after they were discovered, being collected collected by tourists and sellers alike. Laws and conservation efforts are now in effect, but the wild populations are still struggling.

I've gotten in contact with some Icelandic biologists to see if I can both learn from them and support them. I'm going to donate 10% of all sales to aquatic conservation, and I would like to donate as directly to marimo conservation as possible.

It isn't terribly common, but there are online retailers selling wild marimo. I understand the appeal, but at this point I don't think it is ethical. (It's worth noting that most marimo are farmed). I've also found a few retailers that say they are selling wild marimo, but all evidence points to them actually being farmed. Wild marimo have a distinct form and density.

My questions for you-
Are you aware of any ongoing marimo conservation efforts?
Have you grown/propagated marimo at a large scale? My plan is shallow plastic trays/tubs with low light and air stones. I'm not sure if there is a point where they have too much flow?
 

StarGirl

I think the hard part is going to be just growing them period. They grow super slow.
 
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fluffballsco

Yeah, absolutely. I'll be purchasing them at about the same size I intend to sell them at, I just want optimal health and growth for them while I have them.
 
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