Thursday, December 18, 2008

Airmail Labels from Fiji - Pacific Ocean Series

This is another pictorial airmail label, the label have a wording "From Sunny Fiji" and a large flying fish. This label help in promoting tourism in certain way. Instead of choosing bird and aeroplane, Fiji Postal Service intelligently chosen Flying Fish to symbolize airmail services in the island republic, which is very unique and can best represent the country.

Flying fish can be seen jumping out of warm ocean waters worldwide. Their streamlined torpedo shape helps them gather enough underwater speed to break the surface, and their large, wing-like pectoral fins get them airborne.

Flying fish are thought to have evolved this remarkable gliding ability to escape predators, of which they have many. Their pursuers include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger fish. For their sustenance, flying fish feed on a variety of foods, including plankton.

There are about 40 known species of flying fish. Beyond their useful pectoral fins, all have unevenly forked tails, with the lower lobe longer than the upper lobe. Many species have enlarged pelvic fins as well and are known as four-winged flying fish.

Flying fish are attracted to light, like a number of sea creatures, and fishermen take advantage of this with substantial results. Canoes, filled with enough water to sustain fish, but not enough to allow them to propel themselves out, are affixed with a luring light at night to capture flying fish by the dozens. There is currently no protection status on these animals.

Lastly, a brief profile of the country from Wikipedia:

Fiji, officially the Republic of the Fiji Islands, is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu. The country occupies an archipelago of about 322 islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited, and 522 islets. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population.

Flying fish photo and narrative are courtesy from National Geographic.


  1. Very nice airmail labels collection.

  2. Thanks. After writing this article, now I know
    flying fish are attracted to light ;-)