The problem of energy harvesting from flutter instabilities in flexible slender structures in axial flows is considered. In a recent study, we used a reduced-order theoretical model of such a system to demonstrate the feasibility for harvesting energy from these structures. Following this preliminary study, we now consider a continuous fluid-structure system. Energy harvesting is modelled as strain-based damping, and the slender structure under investigation lies in a moderate fluid loading range, for which the flexible structure may be destabilized by damping. The key goal of this work is to analyse the effect of damping distribution and intensity on the amount of energy harvested by the system. The numerical results indeed suggest that non-uniform damping distributions may significantly improve the power-harvesting capacity of the system. For low-damping levels, clustered dampers at the position of peak curvature are shown to be optimal. Conversely for higher damping, harvesters distributed over the whole structure are more effective.