Underwater Fauna and Flora


08 January 2024
On 8 January, Jersey issued its 2024 Europa issue on this year’s theme of ‘Underwater Fauna and Flora’.

The issue features images taken by Nicola Miskin, who began taking underwater photographs in 2018. As well as mastering how to take underwater shots while being thrown around by the sea, Nicola has learnt how to use the light from the water’s surface to best achieve creative shots of vibrant underwater life.

When describing how she achieves the images, Nicola said: ‘The intense colours and vibrancy in my photographs are from the water enhancing the colours and using the surface of the water to maximise the natural light. I don’t use flash nor do I colour enhance my images.’

The eight-stamp set features images of Jersey’s underwater fauna and flora, which includes the following.

The snakelocks anemone (60p) lives attached to rocks found within the lower shore and in shallow seas down to about 12m. Their name derives from having snake-like tentacles, which are usually a bright green with purple tips. It is common for them to be home to algae, which produce energy from sunlight.

Bladder wrack (98p) is a type of common seaweed, which grows between the high- and low-water marks within rocky shores. Their round air bladders allow the seaweed to float upright while underwater. Many underwater fauna use bladder wrack as a food source.

Although common limpets (98p) are often seen firmly clamped along the side of rockpools, once the tide is up, they will begin moving their cone-like shells around the rocks to eat algae using their tough tongue. In fact, limpet tongues are known to be the world’s strongest biological structure.

The compass jellyfish (£1.65) gets its name due to its distinctive markings. Arriving on Jersey shores around the summer, they feed on small fish, crabs and other jellyfish, using their tentacles to sting their prey.

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Flat periwinkles (£2.15) are mostly found within seaweed across the lower end of the shore where they feed. They come in a variety of colours, including orange, olive green, bright yellow and various browns, which makes them difficult to spot when within seaweed.

Sea lettuce (£2.95) tend to be found attached to rocks but can still survive when detached as they can continue to grow and form large floating colonies. The name ‘sea lettuce’ derives from the ruffles that appear a translucent green.

Carrageen (£3.75) can grow up to 20cm long and is commonly found on rocky shores. Also known as Irish moss, Carrageen seaweed can have a striking appearance underwater due to its fonds, which can appear as iridescent blue.

The great scallop (£4.85) is a large bivalve mollusc with two distinct shells. The lower shell is curved like a bowl, while the upper one is flatter like a lid. Residing within a self-dug hollow in sand or gravely seabeds, great scallops are filter feeders that can propel themselves across the seabed by rapidly opening and closing their shells.

An accompanying souvenir sheet for the issue features an image of velvet horn. This small green algae, measuring up to 30cm long, has many colourless hairs, which are made more visible when underwater.

This issue was supposed to see a tariff change, but in light of the current cost of living crisis, Jersey Post has decided to keep the tariff prices at the previous rate.

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