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Fisheries Scientist at The Pacific Community (SPC)

The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Fisheries Scientist within its Oceanic Fisheries Programme located at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.


The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are renowned for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division includes the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) and Coastal Fisheries Programme (CFP). The Oceanic Fisheries Programme provides scientific support for the management of fisheries for tuna and associated species, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries monitoring, data management and ecosystems management.
The role – The Fisheries Scientist will undertake analyses and interpretation of biological data and fisheries statistics to support the assessment and management of pelagic fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO). The key responsibilities of the role include:
1. Contributing to improved understanding of purse seine Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD) fishing behaviour 
  • Evaluate new data sources on purse seine FAD activity within the tropical tuna fishery, and conduct and deliver an expanded scoping exercise to understand the quality and quantity of data.
  • In collaboration with colleagues, establish a set of research questions and conduct data analyses consistent in addressing the research questions.
  • Conduct supporting analyses on increases in effective efforts within purse seine fisheries. 
2. Providing scientific advice on factors leading to significant bigeye catches
  • Construct fishery and vessel characteristic data sets covering information that may influence bigeye catch levels.
  • Analyse factors related to the occurrence of bigeye tuna in purse seine catches.
  • Identify characteristics of top bigeye tuna catching purse seine vessels.
  • Identify spatial considerations that may inform management decisions.
3. Communication
  • Present results of the research at sub-regional and regional fora. 

Key selection criteria

1. Qualifications
  • A tertiary qualification – preferably a post-graduate qualification – in a discipline relevant to fisheries science, population biology, mathematics, statistics, or natural resource management. 
2. Technical expertise
  • Thorough knowledge of fisheries data analysis principles and techniques as demonstrated though practical and quantitative fisheries science experience.
  • Demonstrated analytical and research capabilities.
  • Strong PC-based computer skills in data analysis, statistics and modelling of fisheries data, including skills in programming in either R, C++ or Automatic Differentiation Model Builder (ADMB). 
3. Essential skills
  • Excellent oral and written presentation and communication skills, both at a technical level and in the preparation of information for the general public.
  • Demonstrated history of scientific publications and presentations.
  • Proven ability to meet project deadlines under difficult circumstances.
4. Language skills
  • Excellent English language skills, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage. 
5. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Good interpersonal skills 
  • A team player with the ability to network and work effectively in a multicultural setting 
  • Cultural sensitivity, and a demonstrated understanding of developing country environments 
  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage

Salary, terms and conditions

Required start date: This position is to be filled by early 2017.
Contract Duration: This position is budgeted for two years.
Remuneration: The Fisheries Scientist is a Band 11 position in SPC’s 2016 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,951–4,842 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 566,317–694,099 (USD 5,491–6,730; EUR 4,995–6,122). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.
Languages: SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Application procedure

Please use SPC’s online recruitment system to lodge your application:
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted. 
For your application to be considered, you must provide them with:
  • an updated resume that includes contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

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