There are nearly 30 shark species native to Canadian waters or known to visit our shores. On July 12, 2018 Canada Post chose to highlight five of these elusive, fascinating and often frightening creatures on a new set of stamps unveiled at the Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative. Experts note that between 400 and 500 shark species inhabit the world’s oceans and waterways. They come in all shapes, sizes and personalities: from less than a foot long to larger than a bus, from fierce hunters to gentle giants to deep-trench divers. Sharks are compelling and often misunderstood. These new stamps are yet another way to bring light to an elusive species.
Here are the five sharks to grace the new Canada Post stamps:
- The blue shark is native to the Atlantic and often spotted around Newfoundland, the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- The shortfin mako is the fastest shark in the world. It hits speeds up to 50 kilometres an hour, usually when attacking. A visitor to Canada, the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, along the Scotian Shelf, is the northernmost edge of its migratory range.
- The basking shark glides through the ocean open-mouthed, feeding on krill, plankton and fish eggs. This gentle giant has been assessed as endangered (Pacific population) and as a special concern (Atlantic population) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
- The white shark, a threatened species, has seen its numbers decline significantly in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.
- The Greenland shark lives deep in the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. One of the longest-living vertebrates, some have reached 400 years old
Designed by Andrew Perro and illustrated by Julius Csotonyi, the stamps were a collaborative effort between Canada Post and the Vancouver Aquarium team, in particular Curator of Fishes Lee Newman and Curator of Propagation, Danny Kent. The stamps will be issued July 13 and available at post offices and online, in a booklet of 10, as a souvenir sheet of all five stamps, a souvenir sheet Official First Day Cover and a dramatic 25-stamp uncut press sheet. They can be pre-ordered today online at canadapost.ca/shop.