The Post PNG has issued a series of stamps dedicated to reef grouper inhabiting the coats of the country.
Groupers are one of the most highly regarded groups of reef fish species, valued for daily food needs and in the luxury restaurant trade. They are also eagerly sought after by divers and underwater photographers.
Globally there are 162 species in the grouper family, almost one third of which occur in PNG.
The largest reef fish in the world is the giant grouper, reaching over 2 meters in length. Its smallest grouper cousin grows to just 20 cm. Both species are found in Papua New Guinea.
Grouper biology makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing, much more so than most other fish species on coral reefs.
The stamps feature:
K1.05- Cephalopholis miniata, Coral hind - of high economic and food importance in local fisheries
K1.05- Cromileptes altivelis, Mouse grouper - most expensive fish in the luxury restaurant trade in Chinese communities
K5.00 - Plectropomus areolatus, Square tail coral grouper
K7.00 - Epinephelus lanceolatus, Giant grouper - the biggest reef fish in the world
K10.00 - Epinephelus polyphekadion, Camouflage grouper - important food fish both for live export and locally. Spawning aggregations are threatened by fishing and need management for sustainable use. Maximum length grows to 75 cm