A large adult humpback whale carcass has washed ashore at the southern end of Smoky Beach, South West Rocks.
Crown Land, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and Kempsey Shire Council are working together to coordinate the removal of the 11.3 metre carcass from the beach.
The whale was found dead and reported by a commercial fisherman on Wednesday, June 22. Work got underway on low tide on Thursday, June 23, after a smoking ceremony was held.
Whale dreaming knowledge Elders came together early this morning to perform the smoking ceremony.
Uncle John Kelly, Uncle Fred Kelly, Lional Blair and Benelong Carroll opened and closed the ceremony.
East, West, South and North were acknowledged in that order to invite their ancestors to join them.
Uncle John sprinkled white ochre on the whale's carcass and Lional performed the smoking during the opening and closing of the ceremony, which involved dancing by Uncle John and the playing of didgeridoo by Benelong.
The National Park and Wildlife Service Hastings Macleay Area Manager, Shane Robinson, confirmed that up to 40,000 humpback whales swim past the NSW coast as part of the annual migration.
There have already been sightings of whales migrating and playing in South West Rocks waters this season.
Popular spots to whale watch in the area are The Lighthouse, Monument Walk, Little Bay headland and the eastern side of Trial Bay Goal behind the break wall.
A Crown Land's spokesperson has confirmed that work to remove the carcass is ongoing, and that the NSW Environment Protection Authority and Kempsey Local Aboriginal Land Council have been notified.
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