September will be maritime…

Like other animals, sponges (Porifera, meaning “pore bearer”) are multicellular organisms… the only difference is that they have no body tissues as such, and no “organs”! Full of pores and channels allowing water to circulate through them, they feed in a very distinctive way: they draw sea water through their innumerable pores in which choanocytes (cells covered with cilia) allow the sponge to feed on organic debris particles and microscopic life forms.

In the course of one day, sponges can draw several litres of seawater through these pores, thus receiving sustenance. Sponges are in all likelihood the oldest multicellular organism in the story of evolution and their bodies have adapted for maximal efficiency! The sponge depicted on the stamp lives in Icelandic waters but has not yet received an Icelandic name. Its Latin name is Mycale lingua.

669A - Sponges

669A – Sponges

The sea cucumber (Holothuroidea) is one of six orders within the phyla of echinoderms. The graceful sea cucumber depicted on the Icelandic stamp has been given the name by the Marine Research Institute of Iceland: “purple millipede”, translated from its Latin name Laetmogone violacea. The name evidently refers to its purple colour and numerous feet! Sea cucumbers can be found on seabeds all over the world and are widely used for human consumption. One of the largest sea cucumber species in Iceland, Cucumaria frondosa, is the only one used for consumption. Sea cucumbers play an important role in the ocean ecosystem. They break down remnants of dead animals and other organic material while subsisting on plankton and decomposed organic matter. 

669B - Sea cucumber

669B – Sea cucumber


Stamps 669A and 669B
Issue date: 13.09.2018
Design: Örn Smári Gíslason/ Photos: Marine Research Institute of Iceland
Printer: Cartor Security Printing
Printing Process: Offset Litho
Stamp size: 36×25,5 mm
Price: B50g to Europe (200 ISK)
B50g outside Europe (250 ISK)

Cancellation for the set 669A and 669B

Cancellation for the set 669A and 669B


672A - Nordic stamp

672A – Nordic stamp

The common theme for the 2018 Nordic stamps are fish.

Usually between 35 to 40 cm in length, the Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a fast-moving pelagic fish, common throughout the North Atlantic.
It is found in cold waters and moves in large shoals. Mackerel usually enter Icelandic waters in the summer and spend the warmer months close to shore and near the ocean surface looking for food. Scomber scombrus do not have a swim bladder, an organ necessary for buoyancy control – because of that, they have to stay constantly on the move… which requires a lot of energy! Mostly, they feed on plankton and on small crustaceans, which make up the majority of their diet.
In the wintertime, mackerel migrates out into deeper and more southern waters, seeking warmer temperatures. (And don’t we all!)
The migratory patterns of mackerel have been changing increasingly in recent years. One hypothesis is that it may be due to the oceans warming – indeed, it seems that climate change does have an impact on the population size and distribution of these fish. The first evidence of mackerel in Icelandic waters goes back to 1895, yet Icelanders did no start fishing it in a systematic way until 2007.

Capelin (Mallotus villosus) is also a pelagic fish, though with a length of 13 to 18 cm when mature, it is considerably smaller than mackerel. Capelin moves in large schools and is widely distributed throughout all northerly oceans. The largest capelin stocks can be found in the Barents Sea and in Icelandic waters. A forage fish, capelin feeds on plankton while larger capelin feeds on krill and other small crustaceans. Capelin migrates extensively, following ocean currents. In spring and summer, the fish graze on plankton in an area between Iceland, Grrenland and Jan Mayen. Later on in the year, they return and prepare for spawning – capelin spawns on the sandy seabed at the age of 2-6 years. High mortality often occurs after spawning. Since the 1960s, capelin has been one of Iceland’s most important fish, economically speaking: among others it is used in fish feed, in the production of fish oil and also for human consumption.

Stamp 672A
Issue date: 13.09.2018
Design: Hany Hadaya
Printer: Cartor Security Printing
Printing Process: Offset Litho
Stamp size: 25×40 mm
Price: 50g to Europe (225 ISK)

Cancellation for the stamp 672A

Cancellation for the stamp 672A


Both these issues will be released on September 13th and are already available for purchase on our website.

Stay tuned for more information! 
Come visit our website and follow us on our facebook page :-) 
See you there!



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