Published 23rd November 2021

2021 Stamp Set: Blue Belt Programme


The Government of the British Antarctic Territory is pleased to release a set of four stamps in celebration of the Blue Belt Programme. These stamps highlight some of the key elements of the Blue Belt Programme around the British Antarctic Territory.

The UK Overseas Territories (OTs) are home to globally significant biodiversity. The UK Blue Belt Programme recognises this, and since 2016 has worked with the Governments of these Territories to enhance the protection of these precious marine environments.

The Blue Belt enhances marine protection by supporting work in five key areas:

  • understanding and protecting biodiversity
  • strengthening governance
  • managing human impacts
  • supporting sustainable fisheries management
  • supporting compliance and enforcement

The Blue Belt Programme helps UK OTs and the UK work together to improve understanding of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how to improve them. This work is supported by two world leading organisations – the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).

The waters around the British Antarctic Territory are amongst the most productive in the Southern Ocean, supporting large populations of krill, which feed larger predators, like baleen whales, penguins and seals. The Blue Belt Programme supports scientific understanding of the British Antarctic Territory, which is vital in developing climate-smart management. The programme has contributed valuable data to the management processes of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which is responsible for marine protection and fisheries management around Antarctica. Through the development of sophisticated surveillance methods, we are better able to assess, and deter, the threat of illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing across the Southern Ocean.

Find out where to buy

68p – Krill

Krill is an important food source for many Antarctic predators. As part of the krill fishery management, their population status and foraging habits are continually monitored and management steps taken to reduce competition. The UK works in CCAMLR to ensure krill populations are conserved.

78p – Tourism

All human activity in Antarctica is carefully planned to enable well-managed, environmentally sensitive tourism alongside scientific endeavour and exploration.

£1.25 – Leopard Seal

The British Antarctic Territory works to protect the Southern Ocean and the multitude of animals that depend on it for food. Leopard seals, named after their leopard-like spots, are fearsome predators. They are the largest of the true Antarctic seals and the only seals which eat other seals.

£1.35 – Brittlestar

Improving understanding of biodiversity is a key objective of the Blue Belt Programme. More than 6,000 different species have been identified living on the floor of the Southern Ocean and more than half are unique to Antarctica. One of these is the Astrohamma tuberculatum, a type of Antarctic brittlestar or snake star.

Technical Details

DesignerAndrew Robinson
Photographs   68p, £1.35 British Antarctic Survey

78p Genna Roland
Process  Stochastic lithography
Perforation   13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size    42 x 28mm
Souvenir Sheet size110 x 80mm
Sheet layout    10
Release date  23rd November 2021
Production CoordinationCreative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd