THE second largest trawler in the world, banned from Australian waters, was spotted off the coast of the Isle of Wight on Saturday.

Margiris ­— a 142m long Lithuanian fishing vessel ­— was seen off the coast of Ventnor, heading due west.

Weighing close to 9,500 tonnes, the mammoth commercial fishing vessel is designed to operate fishing trawls, which involves pulling a fishing net through a large body of water.

It is thought to process 250 tonnes of fish a day.

Heavily regulated in some nations, trawling is widely criticised for its lack of selectivity, and the physical damage the trawl inflicts on the seabed.

"It's a sad day for the fishing around the Isle of Wight," said Mike Curtis of Captain Stan's fish shop in Bembridge.

"While all the inshore boats on the Island are tied up due to the poor weather, the second largest fishing vessel in the world is fishing just a few miles off the Island.

"This vessel has caused mass destruction of the environment across the world, and is banned from many seas, but is allowed to wreck havoc in our territorial waters.

"You dread to think what's been caught up in it ­— it wasn't long ago when all the dolphins were spotted around the Island.

"You don't know what damage it's causing ­— they will plunder, indiscriminately, whatever ocean they are allowed to fish in.

"It just shows how the whole industry has been mismanaged. It's madness ­— it's completely insane.

"From an ecological point of view, it's so destructive ­— they've passed marine conservation zones.

"This cannot be right, or allowed to go on."