February 15, 2019

New stamps celebrate Marine Life


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One of the three FDC’s in the 2012 Marine Life definitive series.

Twelve colourful postage stamps showcasing the beauty of these islands marine life will be the Cayman Islands Postal Service’s (CIPS) newest release.

 Cayman Islands Marine Life – Definitive Series, to be issued on Tuesday, 9 October, will also commemorate World Postal Day. With stunning images from underwater photographers Elly Wray, Guy Harvey, Darvin Ebanks, Phil Bush, Croy McCoy and Nina Banks, this new series shows why the Cayman Islands is a top dive destination.

The definitive issue shows one endemic species – parrot fish and two of the species in this stamp series are listed internationally as threatened – the Green Sea Turtle and Nassau Grouper.

Another aspect that makes this issue special and has philatelists chattering is the fact that this is a definitive issue, which means that the previous definitive series, (Birds, 9 October 2006), will soon be retired from circulation. Definitive stamps are considered by the philatelic world as the workhorses of stamps, because they are sold for five years. They are also issued in denominations that coincide with the CIPS’ most common weight steps, whereas commemorative and other special stamps have a limited counter life and are only issued in four to six denominations.

There will be three First Day Covers (FDC) with four stamps each. The sea life chosen for each FDC are: The Nassau Grouper and the Leathery Barrel Sponge (Photo by Department of Environment Phil Bush), Yellow Tube Sponge (Elly Wray) and Longsnout Seahorse (Nina Banks).

The stamps feature: 25¢ The Stoplight Parrotfish (Photo by Department of Environment Croy McCoy), 50¢ Green Sea Turtle (Elly Wray), 75¢ Common Sea Fan and Yellow Tube Sponge (Darvin Ebanks), 80¢ Upside Down Jellyfish, $1 Yellowtail Damselfish (Juvenile), $1.50 Spotted Trunkfish, $1.60 Caribbean Spiny Lobster, $2 Giant Barrel Sponge, $4 Caribbean Reef Shark, $5 Great Barracuda (photos by Elly Wray), $10 Southern Stingray (Guy Harvey) and $20 West Indian Spider Crab (Elly Wray).

The Souvenir Sheet has the Blade Fire Coral and Yellowtail Damselfish (Juvenile) photo by Elly Wray.

Underwater photographer Elly Wray said she was honoured to contribute images to this Definitive Stamp Series.

The Souvenir Sheet has the Blade Fire Coral and Yellowtail Damselfish (Juvenile) photo by Elly Wray.

“My first scuba diving experience was here in the Cayman Islands, as well as my first experiences in underwater photography, so I feel very connected to these waters. The beauty of the Islands’ natural resources has been so inspiring to me and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share these images celebrating the diversity of Cayman’s marine life.”

Acting Postmaster General Petrona Gordon said she was pleased with the definitive series. “Cayman Islands stamps have always been known for their beauty. This issue is no

different and reflects the fact that a lot of work has gone into the design. I would like to thank the photographers for their cooperation in allowing us to show their beautiful photographs, as without their assistance, this issue would not have been possible,” she added.

This series is a celebration of our islands’ marine life and will focus attention on its importance to our tourism product,” Ms Gordon noted.

For more information, contact the Philatelic Bureau at 345-946-4757.


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