Principal Fisheries Scientist (Fisheries Monitoring)

Pacific Community (SPC)

Nouméa, New Caledonia 🇳🇨

  • Noumea-based position
  • Attractive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, 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 unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known 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 and Aquaculture Programme (CFAP). The goal of the OFP is to ensure fisheries that exploit the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability using the best available scientific information. In pursuing this goal, the OFP provides scientific support for the management of fisheries for tuna and associated species, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis and data management. The OFP works closely with member countries and territories, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and other regional and sub-regional entities.

The role  the Principal Fisheries Scientist (Fisheries Monitoring) – will ensure that national, sub-regional and regional oceanic fisheries management is supported by the highest quality and consistent fisheries monitoring across the region.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

  1. Section management, administration and communication
  • Assists the Deputy Director FAME (OFP) in strategic planning to ensure that the work for the Section meets the needs of SPC members and other Programme clients,
  • Develops, in consultation with the Deputy Director FAME (OFP) and other senior Programme staff, annual work plans and work plan reports for the Section consistent with the FAME business plan,
  • Develops, in consultation with the Deputy Director FAME (OFP), funding and/or cost-recovery proposals to ensure that work plans are adequately funded,
  • Manages the activities of the Section consistent with annual work plans and available funding,
  • Implements the SPC staff performance planning and management system for the Section,
  • Liaises with OFP clients, other regional and global fisheries agencies and the scientific community on fishery monitoring issues,
  • Actively participates in wider FAME and SPC processes, including the PCCOS, and contributes to organisational products and outcomes.
  1. Oversight, implementation and auditing of SPC’s fishery monitoring programmes to support stock assessment and fisheries management at national, sub-regional and regional levels
  • Consults with members regarding their fisheries monitoring needs and designs solutions that meet those needs, utilizing the SPC/FFA/PNAO Data Collection Committee to ensure regional standardization where required,
  • Advises on the development of new and/or enhancement of existing fishery monitoring practices across these fishery components,
  • Oversees and coordinates the implementation of fisheries monitoring support to SPC members,
  • Oversees the review of fisheries monitoring in SPC member countries, through systematic auditing both directly in country and through statistical analysis where appropriate,
  • Oversees the delivery of all contracted fishery monitoring services, special projects and related advice to WCPFC.
  1. Oversight of the transition of fisheries monitoring to E-Reporting and E-Monitoring solutions
  • Oversees the transition of regional fisheries monitoring to E-Reporting and E-Monitoring solutions,
  • Consults with members regarding their E-reporting and E-monitoring needs and designs solutions that meet those needs, utilizing the SPC/FFA/PNAO Data Collection Committee to ensure regional standardization where required,
  • Provides a regional focal-point for technical E-reporting and E-monitoring issues,
  • Oversees implementation of activity 1.3 (evaluation of Electronic Monitoring) of the PEUMP project,
  • Oversees the delivery of other activities and projects relevant to E-Reporting and E-Monitoring solutions.
  1. Capacity building of SPC members in fisheries monitoring
  • Oversees the Section’s delivery of capacity building in fisheries monitoring to SPC members,
  • Oversees the Section’s contribution to activity 1.6 (capacity development) of the PEUMP project.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.

Key selection criteria

  1. Qualifications
  • Postgraduate degree or in fisheries science or related discipline.
  1. Technical expertise
  • At least 3 years of experience in staff management, team leadership, project development and project management,
  • At minimum of 10 years of proven expertise in developing and progressing the monitoring requirements for the management of fisheries, with at least 5 years of relevant experience at a senior level in fisheries monitoring to support stock assessment and related analytical work and their implementation in a developing country context,
  • Understanding of the fundamentals of sampling and survey design and the statistical analyses of fisheries data commonly undertaken to support fishery monitoring,
  • Communication and inter-personal skills of a high order required to interact with colleagues from member countries,
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a medium-sized technical programme and supervise professional and technical staff,
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to supervise technical and support staff.
  1. Language skills
  • Excellent verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English, both at a technical level and in the preparation of information destined for the general public.
  1. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • A team player, with the ability to work in a multi-diverse and multi-cultural environment.
  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.

Remuneration – the Principal Scientist Fisheries (Fisheries Monitoring) is a Band 13 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 5,314–6,547 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 777,925–958,138 (USD 7,387–9,100; EUR 6,159–8,031). 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.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is faire, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilinguism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals.  If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

Application procedure

Closing date: 15 August 2021 – 11:00 pm Noumea time

Job Reference: AL000401

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills and experience relative to the key selection criteria, and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

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

All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening questions

  1. Briefly articulate the roles and responsibilities of the Pacific’s regional agencies and Pacific Island administrations in the implementation of tuna fisheries monitoring in the western and central Pacific Ocean.
  2. What do you see as the benefits of Electronic Monitoring for tuna fisheries science, and the challenges?
  3. Provide an example of your work leading a fisheries monitoring programme and how it supported fisheries management decision making.

JD Principal Fisheries Scientist (Fisheries Monitoring) FINAL.docx

Type: Contract – International

Category: Fisheries – Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: AL000401

Date Posted: 13/07/2021