A body has been found off the southeast coast four days after a local fisherman went missing from his trawler.

It is understood the body was discovered in the sea yesterday evening about 64 kilometres from Rosslare by a fishing vessel that was in the area at the time.

The body was transferred to a larger ship which was nearby and remained there until it was retrieved at about 9pm by the Coast Guard search and rescue 117 helicopter, which is based in Waterford.

Formal identification was expected to take place last night.

A 45-year-old Co Wexford fisherman went missing from the Ellie Adhlamh early last Friday morning, while he was on board the vessel near the Saltee Islands off Kilmore Quay.

The trawler had left Rosslare earlier that morning.

Coast Guard crew members, lifeboat personnel, local fishermen and boat-owners and others have been searching for the man on and offshore in the intervening days.

Gardaí confirmed they are investigating the discovery of the body and a post-mortem examination will take place today at University Hospital Waterford.