New Issue: Sharks in Canadian waters

Experts note between 400 and 500 shark species inhabit the world’s oceans and waterways.

These fish can be less than a foot long or larger than a bus. From fierce hunters that breach waves and ambush prey to gentle giants known to nudge kayaks and bask with scuba divers, sharks are compelling and often misunderstood.

Canada Post released a new issue starring these fascinating yet oftentimes feared creatures just in time for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. They were unveiled yesterday at the Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative.

A 25-stamp uncut press sheet was also issued today.


Nearly 30 shark species are native to Canadian waters or known to visit our shores.

The stamps highlights five sharks, including:

  • the blue shark, which is native to the Atlantic Ocean and often spotted around Newfoundland, the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence;
  • the shortfin mako, which is the fastest shark in the world, hitting speeds up to 50 kilometres an hour, usually when attacking, and is a visitor to Canada (the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, along the Scotian Shelf, is the northernmost edge of its migratory range);
  • the basking shark, which glides through the ocean open-mouthed, feeding on krill, plankton and fish eggs (this gentle giant has been assessed as endangered for its Pacific population and as a special concern for its Atlantic population by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada);
  • the white shark, which is a threatened species that has seen its numbers decline significantly in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean; and
  • the Greenland shark, which lives deep in the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans and is one of the longest-living vertebrates, some having reached 400 years old.

The five stamps—designed by Andrew Perro and illustrated by Julius Csotonyi—will be available as a booklet of 10 stamps; a souvenir sheet of all five stamps; a souvenir sheet official first-day cover; and a 25-stamp uncut press sheet.

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