The community and visitors are being urged to take care around Tathra, where a dead juvenile humpback whale has washed up on rocks.
Tathra Beach and Wharf have been closed while the Bega Valley Shire Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, DPI Fisheries and the Police determine the most efficient and practical way to dispose of the carcass.
BVSC said extraction is a challenging operation, made more difficult by sharks observed in the area and sightseers seeking to watch the incident.
"Residents and visitors are encouraged to stay away from the area and out of the water until the whale carcass has been removed and predators have dispersed," the council said.
"Council will continue to provide regular updates on the situation and thorough inspections of the bay will be carried out prior to the beach and wharf being reopened to the public.
"Around 35,000 humpback whales are expected to pass the Sapphire Coast this season. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that some young whales are unable to make the long journey to their Antarctic feeding grounds."
Report injured, entangled or stranded whales to the NPWS South Coast office on (02) 4423 2170 or ORCCA on www.orrca.org.au.