N.S. town to seek arrest warrant for owner of MV Farley Mowat
A Canadian Fisheries and Oceans patrol boat passes by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Farley Mowat on Monday April 14, 2008, in Sydney, N.S. A ship that was once part of a small but notorious fleet commanded by environmental crusader Paul Watson is now at the centre of a court fight that appears to be coming to a head in Nova Scotia. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Dembeck)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 1, 2016 5:32PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 1, 2016 5:34PM ADT
SHELBURNE, N.S. -- The mayor of Shelburne says the town is seeking an arrest warrant for the owner of a derelict ship that has been docked in the Nova Scotia town for more than a year and a half.
Scrap dealer Tracy Dodds was recently found in contempt of court for failing to remove the once-notorious MV Farley Mowat from the harbour.
But the court gave Dodds until May 31 to remove the ship and avoid $10,000 in penalties and fees and 20 days in jail.
Shelburne Mayor Karen Mattatall said some work has been done to move the vessel, including removing the engine, but the deadline has come and gone and the eyesore is still berthed at the wharf.
Mattatall said she is "beyond frustrated," as the rusted remains of the ship are taking up a large space at the port that could be leased out.
"It's frustrating, it's discouraging and it's maddening," said Mattatall in an interview on Wednesday. "This issue... has meant that a large piece of our port is unusable. So it's not only an eyesore, it's costing us lost revenue."
Mattatall says the town's chief administrative officer was meeting with lawyers Wednesday to determine next steps, but an arrest warrant will be sought.
Dodds could not be reached for comment.
The flat-black ship was part of a small fleet commanded by Canadian environmental crusader Paul Watson.
On April 12, 2008, an RCMP tactical squad stormed the ship and accused its captain and chief officer of violating Canadian law by getting too close to the annual seal hunt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The former Norwegian fisheries research vessel was sold for $5,000 in 2009 and was supposed to be refitted, but that never happened. It later showed up in Lunenburg in 2010 and then in Shelburne harbour in September 2014.
On June 25, 2015, the ship sank in its berth, forcing the Canadian Coast Guard to mount a $500,000 cleanup effort that saw the vessel refloated. More than 2,000 litres of pollutants were eventually removed from the hull.
Watson's group replaced the MV Farley Mowat with another, smaller ship of the same name last year.