‘No boat that size should be anywhere near our waters.’

That’s the message of local fishermen after a controversial supertrawler arrived in Weymouth Bay.

The Margiris, the second biggest fishing trawler in the world, was seen inshore earlier this month.

The vessel has the capacity to catch 250 tonnes of fish per day and has been banned from Australia after concerns from environmentalists.

The Lithuanian-registered ship is owned by Dutch company Parlevliet & Van Der Plas and can process 250 tonnes of fish per day.

The ship was formerly known as Abel Tasman and had its application to fish in Australian waters rejected, following protests by the charity Greenpeace.

Josh Simmonds, skipper of Fish-on! Angling Charters in Weymouth, said: “This boat shouldn’t be anywhere near out waters. It’s too big, the fishery will collapse.

“It’s annihilating mackerel stocks to the point that it will have a knock-on effect on other species that feed on them.

“It’s industrial scale fishing. The only reason people are kicking off now is because we can see it on our shoreline.

“10 to 15 years ago they were 40 to 50 miles out at sea, but there’s nothing left for them out there now.”

Mr Simmonds said the bycatch of supertrawlers like the Margiris is dolphins and bluefin tuna.

He explained: “You will start seeing dead dolphins and porpoise on beaches where this boat goes.”

When South Dorset MP Richard Drax heard that the Margiris had been seen in the area, he said he went straight to the fishing minister.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I read it was near our shores. I went to the fishing minister immediately to see whether there was anything I could do.

“The answer is I can’t because it’s fishing within EU rules, there’s absolutely nothing we can do. It’s behaving perfectly legally within the Common Fisheries Policy.”

He added: “This is one of the main reasons I wish to leave the EU, so we can take back control of our waters, it’s essentially to stop these vessels from fishing anything. It’s important to look after our waters.”

“Leaving with no-deal will allow us to do that”

It had been suggested that the Margaris was due to dock at Portland Port, but this was denied by the port.

Bill Reeves, CEO of Portland Port, said: “The Port did not deny entry to the Margiris, though it is true that she did not enter Portland Harbour Authority limits.

“The decision not to enter the port was taken by the ship’s owners and operators.”

Since the Margiris was spotted off the South Coast, a petition has been launched to ban ‘monster’ supertawlers from British seas.

The petition has attracted more than 10,000 signatures, meaning the government must provide a response.

To read the petition in full visit the government’s petitions website and search: ‘Ban super trawlers from fishing in UK waters’.

Chris Ball, a former fisherman living in Weymouth, has signed the petition.

He said: “This (The Margiris) really should be somewhere hundreds of miles from the shore, not picking up our stuff.”