BAR HARBOR, Maine — After more than 50 years of passenger and vehicle ferry service between Mount Desert Island and Nova Scotia, there will be no such service in 2010 or for the foreseeable future.

The company that owns and operates the Cat ferry between Bar Harbor, Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, has decided to cancel indefinitely the seasonal service, which operated between May 31 and Oct. 12 in 2009. Bay Ferries Ltd., which also owns other ferries that operate in Canada, announced Friday that the weak economy and new security precautions are the main reasons for its decision to bring the service to an end.

“Approximately 120 people will lose full- or part-time employment as a result of this decision,” the company indicated Friday in a prepared statement. “The financial viability of the service has been impacted by reduced passenger traffic due to a series of factors including new U.S. passport rules, a strong Canadian dollar and the weak U.S. economy in key U.S. markets.”

Company officials indicated that financial support from the provincial government of Nova Scotia had helped keep the ferry afloat the past several years. Earlier this week, the provincial government informed Bay Ferries that there would be no subsidy forthcoming for 2010.

“Bay Ferries deeply appreciates the support it has received from the Nova Scotia government in many forms,” MacDonald said in the release.

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