10/23/2012 06:24 EDT | Updated 12/23/2012 05:12 EST

Salvager walking away from removal of ship grounded off Cape Breton

SYDNEY, N.S. - The head of a New York-based salvage company blamed government delays for his decision Tuesday to walk away from the planned removal of a derelict bulk carrier from Scatarie Island off Cape Breton.

Abe Shah of the Bennington Group said he was frustrated that a safety plan submitted following a stop work order that was issued by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour on Oct. 12, wasn't accepted.

Shah said he was tired of dealing with a series of provincial roadblocks in getting the work started on the MV Miner.

"The red tape? I'm tired of the invisible tape," said Shah.

"As far as the MV Miner is concerned we are kind of through with it, it's up to the government. This time they will have to ask us back."

The stop work order forced the company to hire an independent engineer to assess the structural integrity of the 230-metre vessel.

It was the latest in a long list of delays that had pushed the beginning of the operation from its original July 10 start date.

Shah said the provincial Labour Department should have been working with him from the beginning if it was concerned about the safety of the work site.

"They keep on moving the goal posts for me," he said. "I am so tired and I'm not going to do this anymore."

Last week Labour Minister Marilyn More said staff in her department had concluded that the integrity of the ship's hull was in question.

The retired Great Lakes bulk carrier ran aground more than a year ago as it was being towed to Turkey to be scrapped.