The pygmy right whale probably has a circumpolar distribution in temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere between about 30°S and 55°S (extending to 20°S in at least the Benguela system (southwestern African continental shelf) (Hoffmann and Best 2005). There are only a few confirmed records of live whales at sea, but strandings have been reported from Argentina, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Namibia, South Africa, Chile, western, southern and eastern coasts of Australia, and North and South Islands of New Zealand (Cabrera et al. 2005; Hoffman and Best 2005; Kemper 2002a,b; Rice 1998; Ross et al. 1975). Two individuals were taken by a whaling vessel in the South Atlantic between 34°-35°S (Ivashin et al. 1972). An unusual sighting was made in 1992 of an aggregation of about 80 individuals 320 nm southwest of Cape Leeuwin, southwest Australia (Matsuoka et al. 1996). A group of 14 individuals was sighted in 2001 at 46°S in the South Pacific 450 km southeast of New Zealand (Matsuoka et al. 2005).
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