Today, June 8, is World Oceans Day.
It has been unofficially celebrated every June 8 since it was originally proposal in 1992 – by Canada – at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2008, it was officially recognized by the United Nations and has been co-ordinated by The Ocean Project since 2003. According to organizers, participation has continued to increase each year since its inception.
This year, people are celebrating with the theme “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.” Organizers said the aim is to promote prevention of plastic ocean pollution with community events, special announcements, “and everything in between.”
Over the years, Canada has issued a variety of ocean-themed stamps, including a 1997 series dubbed “Ocean Water Fish” (Scott #1641-4). The series includes a Great White shark (SC #1641); a Pacific Halibut (SC #1642); an Atlantic Sturgeon (SC #1643); an Bluefin Tuna (SC #1644).
In 2013, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued three stamp panes to raise awareness for World Oceans Day.
The UNPA partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to develop the stamps, which feature the notable characters from Dr. Seuss’ book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. The issue included three panes of 12 stamps and a unique first-day cover.
“Protecting the world’s oceans is an important subject that deserves the attention of people around the world,” said UNPA Creative Director Rorie Katz. “Designing these stamps using the colourful images from Dr. Seuss was not only a lot of fun but allows us to draw attention to the subject in a creative and unique way.”