A giant conger eel weighing in at 59kgs and measuring 6.4 metres has been caught off the coast of Britain.
The monster - which was just 2lbs (0.9kgs) off the British record - was landed at Plymouth Fisheries, Devon, by the inshore trawler Hope.
Proud fisherman posted a picture of them posing with their incredible catch. The caption read: "Conger 130lb gutted landed in Plymouth market this morning! What a beast."
The photograph of the conger, a type of eel, was re-posted by the London International Club of Spearfishing.
Conger includes some of the largest types of eels but average weighs just 5kg and is around 3ft (90cms) long.
The world's biggest conger eel ever recorded was a gigantic fish of 350lb (159kgs) found trapped in nets off Iceland's Westmann Islands.
The biggest British catch was also off the Devonshire coast by fisherman Vic Evans.
His record-breaking conger eel was landed while fishing from the vessel 'Sea Spray' just six miles of the town of Brixham. It weighed 133lbs 4oz (60kgs) and was caught on a wreck in 1995.
Today's giant catch wasn't far off - weighing in at 131lb (59kgs) gutted, and total weight with guts would be about 155 to 160lbs (70 to 73kgs).
Despite it's size, the eel was sold off for just over £40 (NZ$84), about 70p (NZ$1.47) per kilogram, at auction.
Pete Bromley, manager of Plymouth Fisheries, said: 'This conger eel is a very large fish, and an unusual catch for a trawler, with the current rod-caught record standing at 133lb 4oz (60kgs).
"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."
Conger eel is not a popular dish in the UK although it is eaten in other countries including France.
The species is currently under threat and last year it featured on Royal Mail's set of stamps, selected by a leading marine conservation expert, which advised it was "threatened" - that is, fish which people should not eat.
It can be found all around the coast of Britain and favours wrecks, reefs and rough, rocky habitats.
During the night they tend to swim in shallower waters closer to the shore.
Despite its enormous size and aggressive appearance, the conger eel is a shy creature and hastily retreats to its lair when threatened.
- Daily Mail