The bowhead whaling crew stands atop the 17-metre whale that was hunted on Friday. ((Submitted by Sally and Tagak Curley))

People in Nunavut's Kivalliq region are celebrating a successful bowhead whale hunt this summer after a 17-metre whale was caught on Friday.

Whalers in their supply boats were still cutting up the whale as of Monday at a site 320 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet. The meat and muktaaq will be distributed to nearby communities, said Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley.

Speaking in Inuktitut, Curley told CBC News the bowhead was harvested 23 days into the hunt. Despite less than ideal weather conditions for about 20 of those days, everyone on the crew was in good spirits, he added.

The whale was harpooned by Ross Tatty of Rankin Inlet, who said it was caught just before the deadline of Aug. 31.

"When we got up that morning, it was nice, calm, no wind," Tatty said Monday.

"Most of the guys that were over there, like, we were all feeling ... like this is the day we're going to catch the whale."

Tatty said he's happy that the hunt went well and no one on board was hurt.