This thursday 10 May 2007 afternoon, friday and saturday, the Postal and Telecommunation Service of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (in short French TAAF) is selling in advance a sheet of five stamps representing an aerial view of the five Scatterred islands. The stamps and the sheet (with a swimming turtle) are designed by Louis Briat.
Since the 21st of February 2007, these islands are the fifth district of the TAAF with the Southern districts of Crozet, Kerguelen and Saint-Paul-and-Amsterdam, and the Antarctic district of the Terre Adélie. They are scattered around Madagascar (four in the Mozambique Channel).
TAAF issued stamps are mostly buy and keep by collectors. Some frank letters than collectors send themselves to constitute a topical collection about the Polar region or the maritim post.
In order to discover these passions, I decided to send myself letters from the four inhabited Scattered islands' stamps. The issue will take place on the 1st of June with a first day cancellation with the sheet's sea turtle. In June, I'll show you the results.
But, what think the governments of Madagascar and Mauritius at the news of this issue. It is a form of philatelic act of French sovereinty over the islands that these two countries have claimed : Madagascar disputes the fifth islands, Mauritus claimed Tromelin.
To go further :
* with the French written Philatélie des TAAF website, you'll discover a catalogue of the TAAF stamps, with texts explaining the scientific or historical subjects of the illustrations.