Giant eel
The giant eel was six metres long and weighted just under 60kgPlymouth Fisheries

The same week that a giant squid was found on a New Zealand beach, another terrifying beast emerged from very different waters, off the coast of Devon.

A huge conger eel was caught six miles off the coast when it was accidentally snared in the nets of the inshore trawler Hope.

Tipping the scales at an impressive 59kg (131lb), the stupendous sea creature is six metres long (20ft) - making it taller than a double-decker bus.

It was hauled in by commercial fisherman Scott Govier, 42, from Plymouth, who said he was "stunned" when he first saw it.

"It was just a normal days fishing – business as usual," he said. "When we pulled it up I was stunned, because it was so huge. It was already dead when we pulled it up, else we would have thrown him back in and let him live.

"It was too much of a magnificent specimen to kill, but as he was already dead it seemed worth bringing him in. I don't know how long it was, it was difficult to tell and I never really took any notice.

"It was sold in the Plymouth market, made just over £40 [70p per kilo]. Congers aren't worth much these days, but it went for more than I expected."

A photo of the eel was also posted on the London International Club of Spearfishing's Facebook group on Thursday (14 May) with the caption: "Conger 130lb gutted landed in Plymouth market this morning! What a Beast."

"This conger eel is a very large fish, and an unusual catch for a trawler. Conger move to very deep water and die after spawning, so, like all large congers caught off the south-west approaches, this fish is likely to be an unspawned female," explained Pete Bromley, the manager of Plymouth Fisheries.

"Conger move to very deep water and die after spawning, so like all large congers caught off the South West approaches, this fish is likely to be an unspawned female.

"These large eels are generally found hiding in the many wrecks around the South West, or on reefs and rocky ground, but they do venture out to open ground in search of food, usually during neap tides or slack water. Despite their size and power, they are not very strong swimmers."