Seen for a number of years, Meli has recently developed a tumour to the side of his face making him very unique amongst our sharks. Of good size and seen with some regularity, he is one of the easiest males to identify with his blunted dorsal and missing end to his caudal fin.
Like Bruce and Biteface, Meli is one of the bigger (and presumably older) males seen at Guadalupe Island. He appears at varying times throughout the season but he is most likely to be encountered during the earlier part (from September till mid October). When Meli does come by, our guests can recognise him very quickly due to his particular features and recently developed tumour.
It is a myth that sharks cannot get cancer but is Meli’s growth Cancerous? First seen in 2014, his tumour was originally pinkish in colour, the following year it had got slightly bigger and darker then in 2016 when our team saw him, it had reduced in size. The Islands’ leading on site scientist, Mauricio Hoyos, took a biopsy of the growth in 2016. The results are still to be revealed but once they are, they will give us the answer to a fascinating question regarding the health and future of Meli.