Danish waters are home to many species of shellfish. Some are sold for export, while others end up on Danish lunch platters. On the five background images, PostNord depicts the entire process from the catch to the fish auction and to serving the shellfish as an appetising hors d’oeuvre. Across the five stamps crawl some of the most common shellfish found in Danish waters: the brown crab, the Norway lobster, the northern prawn, the blue mussel and the European flat oyster.
What is a shellfish?
Shellfish is a term for a wide range of invertebrates which do not necessarily belong to the same zoological family. First and foremost, shellfish are snails and mussels (molluscs) as well as different crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters and prawns. Gastronomically, shellfish is a generic term for crustaceans, molluscs and a few other shelled animals living in either fresh or salt water. For many people, shellfish are a relatively expensive food, and for this reason they are usually served as starters and as small dishes where large quantities are not required.
Denmark has the biggest and most diverse fishing industry in the EU. Yet the Danes themselves do not consume that many shellfish, and as relatively large quantities are caught, most are exported. Many of the shellfish are sold to countries around the Mediterranean, where they are regarded as special delicacies. This applies, for example, to the brown crab. In Denmark we normally only eat the two large, fleshy claws, but in both Sweden and southern Europe the body is considered the most popular part of the crab. One of our finest shellfish delicacies is the Norway lobster, which is caught in particular in the Kattegat and the North Sea. Some Norway lobsters are eaten in Denmark, but by far the majority are exported to southern Europe, especially the biggest lobsters weighing 200-300 grams. In the southern European markets, the Norway lobster fetches much higher prices per kilogramme than in Denmark, which is why it is such a sought-after export product. So, if you find yourself at a restaurant in Italy enjoying a Norway lobster, it is highly likely that it comes from Denmark as they do not live in the Mediterranean.
Pick an oyster
If you find you are invariably short on luck when you go fishing or hunting, an oyster safari is a very easy way of catching your food. The Wadden Sea is home to tonnes and tonnes of oysters, and hunting for them in the seabed is an experience in itself. On the islands of Fanø and Rømø, you can go on oyster safaris that are organised when the tide recedes to reveal the shallow banks in the Wadden Sea. On the ebb tide, the large oyster banks appear, where you can fill your buckets with oysters and mussels ad infinitum. It is the introduced Pacific cupped oyster which you find in the Wadden Sea. One of the world’s largest natural, wild stocks of the original European flat oyster can be found in the Limfjord, which is why it is also known as the Limfjord oyster. Oyster fishing in the Limfjord is regulated by the authorities, due to the fact that some years can be poor oyster years – either because the oysters are killed by frost during the winter or fail to reproduce in the summer due to low temperatures. The European flat oyster is a great delicacy, with firm meat and an intense mineral taste, which varies depending on the time of year. All this makes the European flat oyster a unique and special delicacy which Danes treasure and love.
Technical DetailsIssue Date: 02.01.2017
Designer: PostNord Stamps/ Ella Clausen
Illustrator: Peter Dam
Printer: Cartor Security Printing
Size: 26.50 x 26.25 mm
Values: 8.00 DKK