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The occurrence of a blue whale is reported for the first time for the New Caledonian archipelago. The whale, a juvenile male in poor condition, entered the shallow inshore waters of the coral reef lagoon (22° 19-24' S, 166° 46-52' E) where it spent at least 1 month until it was killed by whaler sharks on 27 January 2002. Live observations, examination of photographic documents, and skull osteology indicated that this was a pygmy blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda. Nucleotide sequences of PCR-amplified fragments of its mitochondrial DNA were determined and compared with the few published homologous sequences of North Atlantic blue whales, B. m. musculus, but no obvious differences were apparent.