World Stamps

Coral reefs highlighted on U.N. World Oceans Day set

May 18, 2023, 1 PM

By Molly Goad

The United Nations Postal Administration will issue three different coral reef panes of stamps to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8.

The United Nations recognizes World Oceans Day every year to celebrate the world’s shared waters, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and how we can protect it.

“Coral reefs are well known as some of the most beautiful, biologically diverse and delicate ecosystems in the world,” the UNPA said in its press release about the stamps. “They are also vital to maintaining food supply and protecting the shoreline of low-lying island nations. Nevertheless, the UN Environment Programme estimates that about 25 to 50 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and another 60 percent are under threat.”

Each World Oceans Day Coral Reefs pane contains nine different stamps arranged in three columns.

The stamps in the separate panes are denominated in three currencies: 63¢ for use from the post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City; 1.10 francs for use from the post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and €1 for use from the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.

The 63¢ stamp pane features the Florida reefs, the only coral reef system in the continental United States.

The system covers roughly 350 miles from the Dry Tortugas National Park to the St. Lucie Inlet and is home to more than 40 species of reef-building corals that provide shelter, food and breeding sites for millions of plants and animals.

The 1.10fr stamp pane shows marine life of Tubbataha Reef, a protected area of the Philippines in the Sulu Sea. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to more than 1,200 marine species and is a world-renowned scuba diving location.

The €1 stamp pane features a scene from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system. Made up of more than 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is roughly half the size of Texas.

The theme for World Oceans Day 2023 is “Planet Ocean: Tides are changing,” and this year’s event will take place at the U.N. Headquarters in New York.

The UNPA will host a pre-launch stamp ceremony on June 2 at the Napex stamp show at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Va.

Sergio Baradat of the United Nations designed the World Oceans Day panes using photos by Alamy.

Joh. Enschede of The Netherlands printed the panes in quantities of 15,000 (63¢); 14,000 (1.10fr); and 16,000 (€1). The UNPA described the process used to print the stamps as “hexachrome.” Each stamp is 30 millimeters by 40mm.

For more information, visit the UNPA website; email; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

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