Dive beneath the thick expanse of ice covering the continent of Antarctica, and you'll be amazed at the abundance and variety of colourful marine life that lives in this cold, forbidding environment.
Sea snails, starfish, crabs, sponges and many more eke out a meagre existence many hundreds of metres below sea level - far from the inquisitive eyes of the world's scientists and researchers, eager to learn more about them.
The Marine Life stamp issue was the latest in New Zealand Post's Ross Dependency series, celebrating our nation's long involvement with this wedge-shaped part of Antarctica. More than 3,000 kilometres south of New Zealand, the Ross Dependency was claimed as New Zealand territory by a British Order-in-Council in 1923. Today, it is also protected by by the Antarctic Treaty, signed by New Zealand and 11 other nations in 1959.
Supporting Research in Antarctica
New Zealand Post recognises that Antarctica's future lies in the hands of the scientists and researchers dedicated to finding our more about this fascinating part of the world.
With this in mind, New Zealand Post have sponsored postgraduate scientific research in the continent with an annual Science Scholarship. Research so far has covered topics as diverse as glaciers, beach development and sea ice formation to penguin antibodies and the thermal properties of Antarctic enymes.
Marine Life First Day Cover
A diver ventures into the depths of Antarctica's waters on our Ross Dependency first day cover - a hardy soul indeed, for this watery environment's temperature averages an icy -1.8 degrees Celsius.
An Intriguing Glimpse
The 2003 Ross Dependency - Marine Life presentation pack was a perfect package of information. It contained a set of the five stamps and the first day cover as well as further information on this isolated yet fertile marine environment.
Ross Dependency Postage in New Zealand
|Ross Dependency stamps are not valid for postage in New Zealand. Click here to find out more.|
Product Listing for 2003 Ross Dependency - Marine Life
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||1 October 2003|
|Number of stamps:||Five|
|Denominations and designs:||40c Red Seastar (Odontaster validus), 90c Sea Gooseberry or Comb Jelly (Beroe cucumis), $1.30 Giant Seastar (Macroptychaster accrescens), $1.50 Sea Urchin (Sterechinus neumayeri), $2.00 Fan Worm (Perkinsiana littoralis)|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||Chrome Toaster, Wellington|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 40mm (horizontal)|
|Printer and process:||Cartor Security Printing, France by offset lithography|
|Paper type:||103gsm red phosphor stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||50|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B format.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 4 November 2004.|