Ascension : NEW STAMP ISSUE - ASCENSION ISLAND – REEF FISH
Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 18.03.2010 (Article Archived on 01.04.2010)
Ascension is such a remote and isolated Island, 8° south of the Equator in the Atlantic, around 1500 miles from both South America and Africa.
NEW STAMP ISSUE
ASCENSION ISLAND – REEF FISH
Release Date: 19 March 2010
Ascension is such a remote and isolated Island, 8° south of the Equator in the Atlantic, around 1500 miles from both South America and Africa. It is therefore of great interest to discover how and why fish species arrived to inhabit the inshore waters. Ascension and St Helena share 11 species that are only found off these two islands. There are at least 10 species of fish that are endemic to Ascension Island. Two of these are damselfish; then there is at least one blenny, the resplendent angelfish, a crab, the Ascension goby, the white hawk fish as well as the marmalade razor fish and sea bream. There is a possibility that the Ascension wrasse is at present evolving from the St Helena wrasse.
Most of the endemic fish are small species with bright colouration. The resplendent angelfish is found at a depth of over 30 metres but most of the rest are to be found in shallow waters on the reefs, within 5 metres depth. English Bay and Comfortless Cove are particularly good sites to see them.
There are many other species of fish in Ascension waters, both predators and predated. It is a breeding ground with many young on the reef. Various jacks, including the rainbow runner, almaco and greater amberjack hunt, as well as barracuda and a variety of eels. Some of the common species, such as rock hind, glasseye snapper, soldier fish and the spotted moray eel are fished for human consumption.
35p - Squirrelfish – Hardback Soldier
A medium sized fish, horizontally striped pink/red and off-white, with off-white fins and tail which give it a “frilly” look. They are seen singly and in groups.
40p - Rock Hind - Grouper
A stealthy character, either sitting on rocks hoping you cannot see him or moving quickly and unobtrusively around the rocks. The rock hind varies in size from small to quite large, the three black blotches on its back among all the spots being the distinguishing feature.
50p - Sergeant Major – Five Fingers
This inquisitive little fish has five black vertical stripes against a turquoise blue background. Some of the larger sergeant majors are so dark that it is difficult to see the stripes. They are usually found away from the reef, sometimes in shoals of 20-30.
£1.25p - Glasseye Snapper - Rock Bullseye
Usually found at a greater depth than most reef fishes. Apart from its distinctive colour, it has eyes which appear to be reflecting glass.
£2 S/S - Black Bar - Softback Soldier
These are attractive, small to medium sized red fish with a black bar between their heads and bodies. They are seen in groups in caves and under ledges in the reef. They often mix with the pink/red Squirrelfish and the silvery blue/gold St Helena Butterfly fish.
First Day Cover Design - Pompano – Silver Fish
The young pompano swim in shallow water close to the surface in groups. They have either black outer edges or black dots at the end of their ‘V’ tails. Adults grow to 70cms and are seen in twos and threes in deeper water.
Text by John and Jane Bingeman.
The four stamps are released in sheets of 20 as well as a staggered se-tenant sheetlet of 16 (4 x 4). The £2 stamp is only released in a souvenir sheet.
Designer Nick Shewring
Printer BDT International
Process Stochastic lithography
Stamp Size 30.56 x 38mm
Sheet Format 20 (2 x 10)
Sheetlet layout 16 (4x4)
Souvenir sheet size 85 x 61mm
Perforation 14 per 2cms
Release Date 19 March 2010
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide Ltd
These beautifully designed stamps and official first day cover will be on sale at the Post Office for a period of fifteen months provided stocks last. Overseas customers may view and purchase them by visiting our web site www.postoffice.gov.ac or enquires may be made to the Philatelic Bureau, Ascension Island Post Office, Georgetown, Ascension Island, ASCN 1ZZ or telephone + (247) 6260 Fax + (247) 6583