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The Comoro Islands

The first Coelacanth found off this archipelago, the second since Latimeria chalumnae (East London - 1938) was discovered by Capt. Eric Hunt on 20 December 1952.
Up to an estimated 200 specimans have been caught to date from around these Islands.

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40f - Coelacanth
Issued in 1950
This is the first postage stamp issued, depicting a coelacanth.


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In 1972, a joint Royal Society French/British/American expedition visits the Comoros and fishes unsuccessfully for coelacanths. They do however obtain specimens on hand, and film a coelacanth caught by a local fisherman dying in ahastily established tank.

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Issued in 1973 : Air Mail Surcharge of 120f on 90f
Overprinted on the top value of the 1968 fish issue
(Yellow-banded Sweetlips)

In 1975-76, the Steinhart Aquarium of San Francisco sent two expeditions to capture a live coelacanth.
They are unsuccessful, but an important monograph on the coelacanth is published by the California Academy of Sciences as a result of the project.

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Coelacanth Expedition
Coelacanth and a skin diver
Issued in 1975

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Coelacanth Expedition
Coelacanth and a skin diver: Overprinted " ETAT COMORIEN"
Issued in 1975

This miniature sheet, depicting a coelacanth, was issued by Comore Islands in 1977 and is the highest value, 500F, in a set of seven. The other six stamps are of other varieties of fish.

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This sheetlet, depicting four Coelacanths, was issued by Comore Islands on 20 July 1998 and bears the logo of the World Wildlife Fund.

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