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World Oceans Day: Banknotes washed ashore

Categories : Cash connects people
June 7, 2019
Tags : Banknote/Note, Cash
June 8 is World Oceans Day and CashEssentials is taking you on a journey across the world to give a glimpse of the rich and colourful marine life found in vast waters – and in your wallets! Find out more about various beautifully-designed banknotes washed ashore.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

This post is also available in: Spanish

The need to foster conservation initiatives and advocate for sound policy is necessary to safeguard the rich yet fragile marine ecosystems we have today.

As we celebrate World Oceans Day, held every year on the 8th of June, CashEssentials is excited to take you on a journey across the world and give you a glimpse of the rich and colourful marine life found in vast waters – and in your wallets! Swim through beautifully-designed banknotes across the world and read about their vulnerable sea creatures from countries like Malaysia, Brasil, Argentina, Mexico, the Maldives, the Philippines, Fiji, Tonga, Uganda and Norway:




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Themed as ‘Distinctively Malaysia’, Malaysia’s current banknote series draws its inspiration from elements which distinctively redefine the country’s diverse culture, heritage and nature. The bright orange 20-Ringgit banknote features two of the most well-known species of sea turtles endemic to Malaysia’s diverse tropical waters – the Hawksbill Turtle and the Leatherback turtle. These calm and gentile reptiles are sadly plummeting by number and are on the brink of extinction due to sea reclamation, hunting and habitat destruction.




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At the back of Brazil’s 100-Brazilian Real banknote is a rather prehistoric looking creature that is one of the most known fishes found in the Brazilian Coast. The Dusky Grouper is not only special for its appearance, but more so for its notable characteristic that sets it aside from other species. Dusky Groupers begins life as a female before turning into a male once reaching a certain age and size. This extraordinary creature has however declined alarmingly in recent decades as a result of excessive fishing for it is enjoyed by many as a popular food dish. In addition, it’s more difficult for this particular species to quickly regenerate given their unique transforming abilities.




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The Central Bank of Argentina launched the 200-peso bill featuring the Southern Right Whale in October 2016. It is the second banknote of Argentina’s Native Fauna series which aims to raise awareness on environmental protection. Swimming as regal creatures of the sea, all species of right whales have enjoyed complete international protection since 1949. Southern right whales in particular, have shown positive population growth since being protected by authorities.




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Mexico’s 500-peso bill entered circulation in August 2018 with the Gray Whales of Baja swimming through the banknote’s blue-coloured coastal waters. The San Ignacio Lagoon is located in Mulegé Municipality of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur where these calm waters serve as a sanctuary for these majestic beasts when they give birth to their young.

But the rampant rise of the whale watching industry made them more vulnerable that by the 20th century, they were in serious danger of extinction across the world. Today, Gray Whales are protected by international law and the Mexican government currently safeguards their lagoons.



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Beautifully portrayed on the 1000-Rufiyaa banknote of Maldives is a harmless sea creature living in the depths of the ocean. Reputed as one of the largest fish in the sea, the Whale Shark swims through the currents of the ocean located in the South of Ari Atoll, native to the Maldives. These waters are not only a paradise to these beautiful animals but to people eager to witness their grand presence. A dream for us but a nightmare for them, Whale Sharks are in rapid decline and have been labelled as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2016.




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The Tubbataha Reef, featured on the 1000-Peso banknote, is known as a Philippine gem and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dubbed as one of the most pristine and biodiverse reefs in the world, it carries over 350 species of coral and 500 species of fish.



A few other countries with banknotes surrounding marine life includes the Kingdom of Tonga’s 1-Tongan Pa’anga, Fiji’s 10-Fijian Dollar and Uganda’s 2000-Ugandan Shilling. Catch a glimpse of the intricate process behind the idea up to the production of banknotes by watching the video below. Created by Norges Bank, it showcases Norway’s banknote series themed ‘The Sea’ which highlights ‘the importance of the sea for Norway’s business sector and economic prosperity’.

This post is also available in: Spanish