Stamps celebrate Guernsey's underwater wonders

Guernsey Post’s philatelic bureau announces that it will release new stamps as part of the 2024 Europa series celebrating the underwater environment (stamp issue date: 14 May 2024).

Since 1993, the trade association PostEurop has represented the interests of European public postal operators. Each year it selects a Europa theme for jurisdictions to interpret with the aim of building awareness of the common roots, culture and history of Europe. For 2024, the theme Underwater Fauna and Flora has been selected.

The stamps: - 

Found only in the Channel Islands and along the neighbouring coast of France, the Ormer (Haliotis tuberculata) is a single-shelled gastropod that performs a limpet-like crawl over rocky shores where it feeds on algae. It remains attached by its powerful green foot and shows a mantle of green. 

The Crawfish (Palinurus elephas) is the largest crustacean in the Channel Islands, capable of  growing up to 60cm (2 feet) long. Although a close relative of the Lobster, in the absence of large claws it instead relies on long, whip-like antennae to defend itself against predators. 

Yellow Cluster Anemone (Parazoanthus axinellae) is a colonial anemone. Yellow in colour, the polyps are up to 1.5 cm tall and 0.5 cm in diameter. The anemone has between 26-34 moderate to long tapering tentacles arranged in two cycles. 

Pink Sea Fans (Eunicella verrucosa) are gorgonian corals that vary in colour from white to deep pink. Each sea fan comprises a colony of individual animals, or polyps, which share a hard skeleton. They live affixed to rocky surfaces under the sea and the colonies branch profusely, often at right angles to the current to make the most of the food passing by. 

Found in rocky areas around Guernsey’s coastline, Cuckoo Wrasse (Labrus mixtus) are highly colourful fish although the males and females are distinctive. The slightly smaller female Cuckoo Wrasse is an orangey-pink colour with black and white blotches on her back, whilst the male has electric blue markings on his head and back with orange fins. 

The distinctive Red Starfish (Fromia milleporella) is bright red, or brick red, in colour with small pits on its arms. Its round arms have small feet – called tube feet – with suckers on the end, which it uses to move around and collect and feed on organic particles from the sea bottom. 

Bridget Yabsley, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post, said: - “This year’s Europa stamp theme provides the perfect opportunity to showcase some of the rich variety of sea creatures and plants that exist beneath Guernsey’s waves. 

“Designer Chloe Sarre has created an eye-catching set of stamps that combine Wendy Bramall’s illustrations with Sue’s underwater photographs; the flora and fauna are separated by a paper tear to create the effect of ‘revealing’ the photograph underneath the illustration.” 

The stamp products will be available to pre-order from 1 May 2024 at or by calling Philatelic Customer Services on +44 (0)1481 716486.