Cyr Couturier receives Aquaculture Ambassador Award
Friday, February 24, 2023

NAIA Award Winners 2022

The 2022 Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Hall of Achievement Awards went to (L-R) Chris Williams, Tyler Penton, Julia Norris, Cyr Couturier, Sheldon George and Rebecca White. (Missing from photo: Gary Wilton.)


Cyr Couturier, Marine Institute instructor and researcher, received the 2022 Aquaculture Ambassador Award from the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA).

The award goes to an individual who represents aquaculture in a positive light through public engagement, promoting the sustainable aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Six other recipients also were recognized for their contributions during NAIA’s 2022 Newfoundland and Labrador Aquaculture Hall of Achievement Awards held in Gander Feb. 21.

Four of those award winners are graduates of the Marine Institute’s aquaculture programs:

  • Gary Wilton of Cooke Aquaculture received the Aquaculturist of the Year Award;
  • Rebecca White of Badger Bay Mussel Farms was presented the Stewardship and Sustainability Award;
  • Julia Norris and Tyler Penton of Grieg Seafood NL both received the Distinguished Early Career Award.

Aquaculture supporter

Mr. Couturier has more than 35 years’ experience in applied research and project development in shellfish and finfish culture industries. His research in sustainable aquaculture spans a wide range of topics, including enhanced farm production, environmental management and aquaculture interactions.

“Cyr Couturier has been a proud supporter of the NL aquaculture sector for over 40 years,” said the NAIA award citation. “In his capacity as a scientist and shellfish farming expert at the Marine Institute, Cyr led a large shellfish development initiative from 1995 to 2005, where the industry sought to examine fish health and improve productivity and market access.

“He has had a passion for the NL aquaculture industry since 1981 when he first came to the province to work as a research assistant at MUN working on shellfish farming technologies.

“He has conducted hundreds of local, regional, national and international interviews and pieces in print, broadcast and online media, promoting the NL industry.”

Mentorship and scholarship

Mr. Couturier has received a number of awards throughout his career, including the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aquaculture Association of Canada, and has been a member of NAIA since 1987.

He has also helped others pursue careers in aquaculture through teaching, mentorship and establishing the Sustainable Aquaculture Scholarship awarded to more than 30 students since 2004.

The NAIA awards highlight the accomplishments of the best and brightest people, innovations and advances in the province’s quarter-billion-dollar finfish and shellfish aquaculture sector.