Stejneger's beaked whales are found in continental slope and oceanic waters of the North Pacific Basin, from southern California, north to the Bering Sea, and south to the Sea of Japan (presumably including at least the southern Okhotsk Sea – Mead 1989; MacLeod et al. 2006). This appears to be primarily a cold temperate and sub-arctic species, and this is probably the only species of the genus common in Alaskan waters. It is most commonly stranded in Alaska, especially along the Aleutian Islands. Also, there have been a large number of strandings (at least 34) from along the Sea of Japan coast of Japan, and many fewer along the Pacific coast. The large peak in strandings in this area in winter and spring suggests that the species may migrate north in summer (Mead 1989; Yamada 1997).