Though the human population of Niue is quite small, the waters surrounding the island are abundant with a variety of different fish. The crystal clear waters of Niue are ideal for diving and snorkelling, perfect for discovering the underwater wildlife that lives beneath the waves.
Due to the fact that Niue is made entirely of porous limestone, the island has no lakes or streams. The rain water quickly filters through the island and into the ocean, meaning there is no sediment in the water and visibility can be up to 80 metres, making for pristine diving conditions. This environment makes for the amazing opportunity to get up close to the marine wildlife that surrounds Niue.
In this Niue Fish issue, just four of the creatures are highlighted that everyone could find on their diving and snorkelling expeditions on the private beaches, swimming caves, coves and chasms that Niue has to offer. Each vibrant stamp features an image of the fish, its common name and its scientific name.
30c Whitemouth Moray - Gymnothorax meleagris
This distinctive moray can be found near many countries in Oceania, though it often lives in coral-rich areas and seaward reefs. The Whitemouth Moray is usually a brown to yellow-brown colour with dark edged spots on the head and body and a white tail. As the name suggests, the inside of its mouth is white.
$1.40 Orange Fin Anemonefish - Amphiprion chrysopterus
The Anemonefish, more commonly known as the clownfish, is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the sea anemone, and so uses it as its home and as shelter from predators. The Orange Fin Anemonefish is brown or black in appearance with two or three blue to white bars on the body and an orange to yellow dorsal fin.
$2.00 Fire dartfish - Nemateleotris magnifica
The Fire Dartfish, also known as a Fire Goby or Red Firefish, is found in shallow reefs across the Indo-Pacific. These unique little fish are torpedo shaped with a large yellow spike on their heads, and are half silver and half red in colour. They hover just above the ocean floor and live together in pairs.
$4.00 Longnose Butterflyfish - Forcipiger longirostris
Found in coral reefs, the Longnose Butterflyfish is often mistaken for its more common cousin, the Forcepsfish. The fish is usually a striking yellow colour with black spots on the breast and a long silvery snout, though in rare instances the body colour of the fish is dark brown in appearance.
Included in this issue are a miniature sheet and two first day covers containing each of the four gummed stamps. The first day covers feature stunning underwater photographs of the coral reefs that surround Niue, the home of the creatures depicted in this stamp issue.