With fossil records dating back 400 million years, sharks have outlived the dinosaurs and many other forms of life currently on earth. There are more than 1,000 species of sharks and rays, with new species discovered every year.
Global warming, pollution of the oceans, and excessive hunting have endangered over 100 shark species. These majestic top predators that are so essential to the natural order of marine ecosystems now face their most severe threat from overfishing. While sharks and rays have been an irreplaceable resource for coastal communities in the developing world for centuries, this unique balance is in danger of being lost forever. The United States along with numerous South American and Caribbean countries have issued stamps promoting shark preservation.
Images of sharks on stamps have been featured on international World Wildlife Fund issues, Mexican shark research and marine protective habitats, and numerous multi-value large sheets of sealife ecosystems. Because of the wide variety of species that have been featured on stamps over many years, many collectors focusing on marine life, ocean ecology, and conservation have adopted a major thematic emphasis on including all sharks issues in their stamp collections.
County Stamp Center is proud to be a supporter of the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, an organization dedicated to white shark conservation, education, and research. You can view their great work at www.atlanticwhiteshark.org.