The awards recipients were revealed during an awards luncheon on 21 February at the Quality Hotel and Suites in Gander. Those recognised included:
- Aquaculturist of the Year – Gary Wilton, Cooke Aquaculture, Daniel’s Harbour
- Lifetime Achievement – Chris Williams, Mowi Canada East, Pool’s Cove
- Excellence in Innovation – Cold Ocean Salmon, St. Alban’s/Connaigre Peninsula
- Stewardship and Sustainability – Rebecca White, Badger Bay Mussel Farms, Triton/Flatrock
- Distinguished Early Career/Youth – Julia Norris & Tyler Penton, Grieg Seafood NL, Marystown
- Aquaculture Ambassador – Cyr Couturier, Marine Institute of MUN, St. John’s, NL.“
The finfish and shellfish aquaculture sectors in this province have seen some truly tremendous advances on all fronts in recent years, and these awards help recognise the contributions of the many dedicated and talented people and companies we have supporting that effort,” said NAIA executive director, Jamie Baker, in a press release. “The people recognised today have all made remarkable contributions to the establishment and growth of the sector in our province on many levels, and we look forward to their continued dedication and achievements.”
Baker noted that the NL aquaculture sector is poised for positive sustainable, sensible growth in the years ahead given the province’s growing environment, room to expand, availability of marine resource expertise, farming experience and clear proximity to key seafood markets.
“Producers are providing critical support on food security for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and we are providing careers – not just jobs – for people living in rural, coastal communities,” he said.
“But it is also important to remember that this sector strives daily to meet and exceed stringent global environmental and sustainability standards as we play our part in the emerging Blue Economy. Seafood farming is, by far, the most carbon-friendly form of protein production in the world, and we are excited to be in a province that has such potential in the years ahead.”