A great white shark has been spotted tearing chunks off the floating carcass of a humpback whale off the coast of California.

In footage filmed by shark tagger Keith Poe, the 16ft female shark can be seen sinking its teeth into the whale's bloated carcass around 14 miles off Dana Point in Orange County.

Poe said the shark ate so much she was "swimming around aimlessly like she was intoxicated".

He also reported that his colleagues had tagged the shark as part of their efforts to track shark populations in the area.

The whale has been identified as 'Scarlett the whale' - a 55ft-long humpback whale which has been documented along the Oregon and California coasts since 1997. In 2016, cameras caught footage of her entangled in rope.

She was at least 20 years old when she died and her carcass was spotted around two miles offshore before lifeguards began the process of towing her out to sea.

"It was very sad, because it wasn't just another humpback whale, which is already sad enough, but the fact that it was Scarlett," ocean life photographer Mark Girardeau told CBS2.

"She's been through so much. I photographed her breaching with ropes going through her mouth and pectoral fins, and she was able to overcome that and gain weight again."

Shark eats whale
The great white can be seen eating a dead humpback whale Keith Poe/YouTube/Storyful