A long-time Charlottetown restaurateur has issued an apology to P.E.I. lobster fishers for remarks made in a media interview that left the impression he was criticizing the price fishers are being paid during the spring season.
Liam Dolan, who owns three restaurants in the Island capital, was asked for comment in his capacity as past president of the Canadian Restaurant Association. He is quoted in the interview as saying many restaurants may not carry as many lobster options on their menu due to rising price.
“The lobster industry and the P.E.I. shellfish industry has no greater friend than me,” Dolan says. “I’ve promoted Island seafood for more than 35 years. Island fishers put their lives on the line every day to harvest lobsters that are increasingly in demand around the world. They deserve every penny they receive.”
Dolan is the long-time chair of the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival, held each September since 1996, which attracts thousands of visitors from around the Maritimes and beyond. It’s now part of the month-long Fall Flavours Festival held across the province.
“Demand dictates lobster prices. When prices are high it means worldwide demand is high. And that’s very good for fishers,” Dolan says in a statement. “I don’t argue with that at all. I know that when fishermen do well, the whole economy does well.”
He adds, “Higher prices afford an opportunity for Island restaurants to not only showcase lobster, but other seafood products. Anyone who knows me knows that more was said in the interview than what was eventually used in the article. I apologize for any misunderstanding caused. I fully support the Island lobster industry.”
Heading into the final week of May, island fishers were being paid $7 for canners and $7.50 for market size lobsters.