Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources says a bulk carrier stranded off the coast of Cape Breton has further deteriorated over the winter.

Dan Davis, a spokesman for the department, said officials went to Scatarie Island last week to examine the remains of the MV Miner.

"The ship is still, I think, in the same location and just the condition is getting worse. You can tell that the ship has deteriorated," he told CBC News on Wednesday.

"There were several holes already in the side of the vessel and you can see that those holes are probably somewhat larger."

The MV Miner broke its line and ran aground off Scatarie Island in September as it was being towed from Montreal to Turkey, where it was to be scrapped.

Bennington Group of New York and Armada Offshore of Turkey are working on an agreement with the provincial and federal governments for the removal of the vessel, which sits in a protected provincial wilderness area.

Davis said representatives from the two salvage companies will meet with federal and provincial officials next week.

"The meeting and the site visit should give the company better information about the condition of the vessel and it should help with developing a plan to remove the vessel from the island," said Davis.

"The province is looking for getting more information about what kind of plan the company has."

Fishermen in the area are worried salvage operations will interfere with their upcoming lobster season, which runs from mid-May to mid-July.

Davis said his department was keeping the community informed about developments, but said he does not know whether the salvage companies will be able to predict when the work will be completed.