The pygmy right whale is one of the least known baleen whale species, and there are too few records to attempt an estimate of population size, even to an order of magnitude. The single sighting of about 80 whales in the southeast Indian Ocean (Matsuoka et al. 1996) represents over half of the recorded sightings of live individuals. Apart from the two large schools mentioned above, most sightings have been of one or two individuals, sometimes in association with other species of whales and dolphins. The inconspicuous, small blow and quick, shallow surfacing of pygmy right whales make them difficult to spot and observe at sea. They are unlikely to be correctly identified by non-experts.
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