Distributed throughout the cold temperate and subarctic waters of the North Pacific. On the eastern side of the North Pacific its distribution ranges from Saint Paul Island to southern California, with a majority of stranding records reported from the Alaskan coastlines. In the west it ranges from the Commander Islands to Japan. The center of its distribution seems to be the Aleutian Islands, where it has been known to strand in small groups. It is more likely that that this species frequents the Aleutian Basin and the Aleutian Trench rather than the shallow waters of the northern or eastern Bering Sea. Presence of Isistius scars suggests its movements are not restricted to cold temperate waters, but include temperate waters of North Pacific latitudes 38oN and lower where the Isistius populations are at greatest abundance.