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© Gemima Harvey
Coffs Harbour Water Police watch on as sharks feed on a sperm whale carcass off the Coffs Coast.

A sperm whale carcass that is floating precariously close to Coffs Coast beaches may pose a safety hazard with police spotting large sharks feeding on the dead mammal.

The whale was identified as a six metre long sperm whale by Coffs Harbour Water Police this afternoon.

Rising almost two metres out of the water the whale carcass is currently about 800 metres east of Campbells Beach having floated in past Split Solitary Island this morning.

"There is an obvious danger as there are sharks underneath it, we saw four or five sharks feeding off it - two tiger sharks and a great white, varying in size from two metres to four metres in length," Water Police Sergeant Don Stewart said.

"It's a dead sperm whale that has floated in from only heavens knows where."

The whale carcass is visible from Sapphire Beach and police are monitoring its movement.

"We have warned all the appropriate authorities that there is the presence of sharks around the whale," Sgt Stewart said.

"Water Police and NSW Fisheries will monitor its movement and see if it washes ashore.

"We certainly advise people not to swim or surf anywhere near it if it does wash toward local beaches.

"It really depends on what this thing does, there are strong south westerlies expected to blow offshore this afternoon, they may carry it back out to sea. We'll just wait and see what happens overnight."