U.S. Postal Service to Issue Sharks Forever Stamps

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Source: usps.com

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service will celebrate the wonder of sharks by issuing the Sharks Forever stamps featuring five species that inhabit American waters — the mako, thresher, great white, hammerhead and whale sharks. Please share the news on social media using the hashtag #SharksStamps.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service will celebrate the wonder of sharks by issuing the Sharks Forever stamps featuring five species that inhabit American waters — the mako, thresher, great white, hammerhead and whale sharks. Please share the news on social media using the hashtag #SharksStamps.

The 8 a.m. July 26 First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, KY. This is a ticketed event. Tickets are limited to a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP to usps.com/sharksfor free tickets.

Customers may preorder the stamps in early July at usps.com/shop for delivery shortly after the July 26 nationwide issuance.

Misunderstood Creatures
Possibly no other creatures are as mythologized — or as misunderstood — as sharks. Blockbuster thrillers and sensationalized media have fueled the belief that sharks are monsters: unthinking, bloodthirsty, vengeful and primitive. While they are ancient creatures, having emerged long before the first dinosaurs, after 400 million years the 500 or so known shark species have adapted to their ecological role.

Sharks’ adaptations include light, flexible skeletons of cartilage, teeth replaced without limit and skin covered by a hydrodynamic surface of tiny tooth-like structures. Their keen senses include one that detects electrical signals given off by prey and enables navigation by Earth’s magnetic field. Their nervous systems are also adapted to sense miniscule water movements, such as the struggles of a far-off fish.

Mythologized and misunderstood, few creatures capture the imagination as sharks do. With this sheet of 20 stamps, the U.S. Postal Service® showcases five types of these amazing fish, which emerged long before dinosaurs and are now uniquely adapted for their top-predator role in the marine food chain.

Each realistic stamp image is labeled by species: “MAKO SHARK,” “THRESHER SHARK,” “GREAT WHITE SHARK,” “WHALE SHARK,” and “HAMMERHEAD SHARK.” Styled in lowercase letters, the words “usa forever” also appear on each stamp.

As difficult as it can be to put our primal fears and vulnerabilities in perspective, people are realizing that we pose far greater danger to sharks than they do to us. They are overfished for food and sport. The practice of “finning”—cutting off shark fins for a soup delicacy, only to throw the incapacitated animal back in the water—dooms a great many sharks. They are slower to reach reproductive maturity than other fish, and though they bear more developed offspring, because of unsustainable fishing this is no longer an evolutionary advantage over egg laying. Many populations are in collapse.

There is new hope, however. Shark ecotourism has become popular worldwide with enthusiasts excited to see these graceful fish underwater. Shark allure is resulting in increased study and greater understanding of these fantastic, still mysterious creatures.

Art director Derry Noyes designed the sheet with original artwork by Sam Weber. The sheet includes four stamps each of Weber’s five shark illustrations.

The Sharks stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.

MAKO SHARK – An athlete of the shark world is the swift, streamlined mako shark. The stamp image depicts a shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) knifing through the water near the surface.

THRESHER SHARK – The most distinctive feature of the pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) is its unique, whip-like tail fin, seen trailing in the distance of the stamp image.

GREAT WHITE SHARK – The great white (Carcharodon carcharias) epitomizes sharks in many peoples’ minds.

HAMMERHEAD SHARK – The scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), featured in the hammerhead shark stamp, is one of three large hammerhead species.

Issue Date: July 26, 2017
Art Director/Designer:Derry Noyes, Sam Weber.

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July 17, 2017 |

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