The owner of the controversial Farley Mowat ship has until February 26 to remove it from the Shelburne Marine Terminal or face possible jail time.

Federal court said if Tracy Dodds of Wolfville, N.S., doesn't, he must appear before a judge on March 16 to explain why he disobeyed the court's order.

Dodds is linked to a number of abandoned derelict boats around Nova Scotia, a CBC Nova Scotia investigation recently found.

In 2013, Dodds bought the Farley Mowat, which used to be an anti-sealing ship belonging to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

It arrived in Shelburne the next year, where it has sat ever since.

Deal with town

The town is suing him for unpaid berthing fees.

In his statement of defence, Dodds said he and the town had a deal: he'd cover the fees with money he'd make scrapping the vessel at the terminal. 

He said he was in the process of doing that when the town stopped him and said he was trespassing, which he said prevented him from attending to the ship.

Ship sank last summer

Last summer, the ship sank in the harbour and had to be raised by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Dodds blamed the town for leaving the vessel unattended.

He said the sinking caused damage to the engine and other items that would have been worth more than $60,000.

In December, a judge ordered him to remove the ship by January 15. He now has a bit more time.

If Dodds is found in contempt, the town has given notice it will ask the court to fine him $5,000, issue a warrant for his arrest and put him in jail for up to 10 days.