- Issue date: 20/01/2011
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Autoadhesivo fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
- Sheet effects: 25
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,50 €
- Print run: Ilimitada
This issue reflects the importance and concern of society in Oceanography, the science devoted to the study of the seas, its phenomena, the marine flora and fauna, and to biodiversity – number of plant and animal species of the oceans. For this reason, the UN declared 2010 as International Year of Biodiversity and the UPU (Universal Postal Union) urged the postal administrations to issue a commemorative stamp.
The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (Higher Council for Scientific Research) has launched the Malaspina 2010 expedition, an interdisciplinary project of global dimensions meeting two important needs “assessing the impact of global change on the ocean and exploring the still little-known ecosystem of the ocean’s depth". For nine long months the oceanographic research ships Hesperides, belonging to the Spanish Navy, and the Sarmiento de Gamboa, operated by the CSIC, will sail around the world. The project involves over 400 experts and researches from 19 Spanish institutions, such as the Spanish Royal Astronomical Observatory of the Navy, the Navy Museum and the Navy Hydrographical Institute, which have already conducted tests in 350 oceanographic stations to depths of up to 5,000 meters and collected thousands of samples of air, water and plankton.
The expedition is named after Alejandro Malaspina, a Spanish sailor of Italian origin famous for conducting the first Spanish circumnavigatory expedition of a scientific nature in the late eighteenth century.
Alejandro Malaspina (1754 Pontremoli - Mulazzo 1809) joined the Spanish Royal Navy in 1774 and participated in battles against the British. In 1780 he was appointed lieutenant and began conducting scientific expeditions. With his fellow marines, J. Bustamante y Guerra, he carried out between 1789 and 1794 the famous Malaspina expedition of a scientific and political nature with naturalists, scientists and cartographers on board who gathered data, chartered territories, registered fauna and explored the sea. On his return to Spain he submitted a report which made critical comments on the Spanish colonies.
The stamp has been designed by Estudio Jesús Sánchez depicting the Hespérides and its reflection on the water featuring the Corbeta Atrevida, the original vessel of the first expedition commanded by Malaspina. The glass jar symbolizes scientific nature of this expedition.