A rahui, or ban, on fishing and the collection of shellfish on a Northland beach has been imposed following the stranding and deaths of two humpback whales.

Local iwi Te Roroa has imposed the rahui from Baylys Beach to Mahuta Gap on Ripiro Beach. The whales came ashore last Sunday morning between those two beach access points.

The younger one died on Monday morning and the other one was euthanased on Tuesday afternoon after there was no longer any possibility it could be saved.

There is discharge from both animals in the sand around their carcasses and washing into the sea.

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This is likely to continue for the next few days as the whales deteriorate and are disposed of, a Department of Conservation (DoC) spokeswoman said.

The breaking down of the carcasses by Te Roroa and neighbouring iwi Te Uri o Hau started yesterday morning and was expected to be finished this afternoon .

As well as a training workshop, the flensing process would provide bones and blubber to be used for cultural reasons.

It is not known how long the rahui will be in place.