Department of Conservation rangers discovered a dead sperm whale at Marfells Beach, southeast of Blenheim, on Saturday morning.

DoC rangers were on the scene around 8.30am but were unable to assess the condition of the whale due to strong swells.

Marine mammal charity Project Jonah on a Facebook post said the next step was for local iwi to bless the whale before finding a suitable place to bury it.

Sad news this morning, a sperm whale has washed ashore at Marfells beach near Blenheim today (Saturday 7th). The dead...

Posted by Project Jonah New Zealand on Friday, 6 July 2018

"Department of Conservation rangers were quickly on the scene, but were unable to immediately assess the condition and species of the whale due to the strong swell that was rolling the whale around.

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"Project Jonah provided logistical support and assistance," the post reads.

Currently, the whale's cause of death is unknown. In November last year a stranded orca was successfully refloated on the same beach.

Meanwhile, a whale expert has told Newstalk ZB that Wellington's visiting southern right whale could be coming into the harbour because it's pregnant.

NIWA marine ecologist Kim Goetz says if it's a female, it may have chosen Wellington harbour to give birth.

"They do come into shallower water to have a calf, it is the time of year where that could potentially happen."

She says it's hard to estimate how much longer the whale will stay around for, because no one knows why it's here.

"If it was sick it probably would have stranded by now. It could be trying to head north and maybe took a wrong turn."

The whale has been attracted a lot of attention last week and even resulted in acting Mayor Jill Day postponing the Matariki Sky Show.

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