MI Marine biologist inducted into Science Atlantic Hall of Fame
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cyr Couturier accepting the Science Atlantic Award from Lois Whitehead.

Twenty years as a Marine Institute representative on the Science Atlantic Aquaculture and Fisheries Committee has earned Cyr Couturier a spot in the Science Atlantic Hall of Fame.

Couturier was inducted as an Outstanding Contributing Member by Science Atlantic during Memorial University’s Dean of Science Awards Ceremony on September 24. He was awarded for his contributions towards the promotion of aquaculture and fisheries science to Atlantic Canadian undergraduate and graduate students over the last two decades.

“I’m humbled that I was even nominated. The biggest reward for me is mentoring students and seeing them pursue careers in marine biology, aquaculture, fisheries or environmental science,” said Couturier.  “I view this award as recognition of their collective success and accomplishments. Many of my former students from MI and MUN have gone on to be leaders in great careers in industry, academia and government, and for this I am quite pleased.”

As a research scientist in MI’s School of Fisheries, chair of Aquaculture Programs at MI and Memorial University, and the executive director of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA), Couturier wears many hats.

Assisting with organizing the annual Science Atlantic Aquaculture and Fisheries Conference is one of the many initiatives Couturier is involved in. This event provides a venue for undergraduate and graduate students to present their research and discuss common goals. Couturier also works in various ways to promote aquaculture and fisheries science to youth across Atlantic Canada.

The members of the Science Atlantic Aquaculture and Fisheries Committee nominated Couturier for this award. They are a very close knit group,” said Lois Whitehead, executive director, Science Atlantic. “Couturier is one of the longest standing members and provides input into each year’s activities. He serves as a volunteer judge for our student conferences and obtains sponsorships for student awards. Couturier has been both chair and secretary for the group and has mentored countless students over the years.”

Couturier has been working as a marine biologist since the 1980’s in fisheries and aquaculture.  Science Atlantic’s mandate and mission aligns with his passion to promote education and research in sciences in Atlantic Canada.

Since joining NAIA in 1995 on the board of directors, Couturier has filled various roles within the organization. He advocates to help the aquaculture and fishing industries in Newfoundland and Labrador grow in a sustainable economic fashion. 

He is the only three-term past president of the national aquaculture association devoted to aquaculture  science and education (Aquaculture Association of Canada), and currently also sits on the executive of the trade association of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance with a mandate for industry growth and farm science promotion.

“I’m encouraged by what’s going on in the province. We have good healthy stocks, a variety of species and the future is promising for the fishery as long as we do it right,” said Couturier. “The aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is worth approximately $200 million to the economy right now. I predict that we will end up being the second largest farmed seafood producing province this year, second only  to British Columbia.”