While formerly thought to be rare, this impression probably resulted from the typically offshore distribution. In fact, the species is probably abundant throughout its range, although no exact numbers are known. 13,000 - 30,000 animals are estimated to occur off of central and northern California. In a few parts of the world, Risso's dolphins are killed for human consumption; until recently, they were commonly found in the open market in Taiwan, and they are part of Japanese drive fisheries for dolphins. In Sri Lanka, they are one of the primary species taken in a gill net and harpoon fishery that may have grown out of selling accidentally netted dolphins. In most areas of the world, however, they are not currently under major threat from direct killing, but may be susceptible to accidental fishing gear entanglement and pollution from coastal development.