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Principal Fisheries Scientist (Data Management)

Noumea (New Caledonia)

  • Organization: SPC - Pacific Community
  • Location: Noumea (New Caledonia)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Fisheries
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Statistics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-17

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  • 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 Programme (CFP). 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 – Data Management will be responsible for regional fisheries databases and is the authority on all aspects of large-scale national and regional fisheries database systems and regional data collection and reporting requirements in the WCPO.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:


  1. Management, administration and communication
  • Assist the OFP Manager / Deputy Director, FAME in strategic planning to ensure that the work for the Section meets the needs of SPC members and other Programme clients.
  • Develop annual work plans and work plan reports for the Section consistent with the strategic plan.
  • Manage the activities of the Section consistent with annual work plans and available funding.
  • Implement the SPC staff performance planning and management system for the Section.
  • Liaise with OFP clients, other regional and global fisheries agencies and the scientific community on statistics-related issues.
  1. Management of regional tuna fisheries databases
  • Ensure the efficiency, resources and relevance for the planning, design, development, maintenance and integrity of the regional tuna fisheries databases.
  • Conduct analyses of tuna fishery data, respond to ad hoc requests for summarised statistics from OFP clients and provide advice on important fishery-related areas not covered by other OFP positions.
  • Assist OFP Scientists with access to data for stock assessments and other analyses.
  1. Develop/maintain systems to acquire, manage and report fishery data for member countries
  • Ensure the efficiency, resources and relevance for the work of the section in the design, development and enhancement of national tuna fishery data management systems.
  • Lead role in provision of advice related to E-Reporting and E-Monitoring standards.
  • Oversee the development of procedures and manuals for auditing national tuna fishery data collection and management systems.
  • Contribute to the design and regional coordination of national fishery monitoring systems.
  1. Capacity building and data management services for member countries
  • Ensure the efficiency, resources and relevance for the capacity building work of the section, including the design and conduct the annual Tuna Data Workshops, the training of national tuna fishery data management staff, and the development and provision of training resource material to enhance the skills of fisheries staff in SPC member countries.
  1. Data management services provided to the WCPFC
  • Oversee the registration, acknowledgement and evaluation of scientific data provided by WCPFC members as per WCPFC data provision requirements, incorporate these data into WCPFC databases and facilitate access of Commission secretariat staff to those data.
  • Compile estimates of catch and effort in support of the functions of the WCPFC and its subsidiary bodies.
  • Provide authoritative advice and technical support to WCPFC international meetings.
  • Prepare working papers for and present at the WCPFC Scientific Committee (SC) meetings, the WCPFC Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC) meetings, the WCPFC Regular sessions, and contribute to OFP and other technical reports, as required.
  • Summarise the status of the provision of scientific data to the Commission, identify known data / information gaps and publish on the WCPFC web site.
  • Provide technical advice and participate in the WCPFC-administered West Pacific East Asia (WPEA) Data Collection Project.
  • Prepare public domain catch, effort and size data for dissemination on the Commission’s website at agreed level of resolution on an annual basis.
  • Maintain the WCPFC tuna fishery data inventory for dissemination on the Commission’s website.
  • Lead role in provision of advice related to E-Reporting and E-Monitoring standards for the WCPFC.
  1. Data management services provided to the FFA and the PNAO
  • Oversee the collaboration and provision of technical advice and support for various FFA and PNAO initiatives, including work on fisheries management (e.g. Vessel Days Scheme), Catch Management and Documentation systems, the implementation of regional E-Reporting and E-Monitoring standards.
  • Prepare technical papers for FFA and PNAO meetings/consultations.
  • Respond to ad hoc requests for analysis and data summaries.


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



Key selection criteria


  1. Qualifications
  • Postgraduate degree in information technology, fisheries science or a related field.
  1. Technical expertise
  • A minimum of 10 years of proven expertise in large-scale database management applications with at least 5 years of relevant experience at a senior level in fisheries-related data management.
  • Demonstrated high-level skills and experience in RDBMS (relational database management software, preferably SQL SERVER), with strong programming experience in SQL, and preferably R and C# (or other contemporary procedural languages) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) concepts, with an aptitude to stay in touch with the concepts of the latest development platforms.
  • Knowledge of statistical methods used in fisheries science.
  • Demonstrated technical report writing skills necessary to prepare technical reports and papers which include a range of fisheries data summaries, basic statistical analyses of fisheries data, standards on data fields and fisheries database documentation.
  • Understanding the concepts and methods used in fisheries stock assessment and the use of scientific information in fisheries management.
  • 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
  • Communication skills of a high order required to interact with colleagues from member countries and non-member countries involved in tuna fisheries of the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and to present fishery- and database-related material at national and international forums.
  1. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Strong people skills (influencing and relationship building) and ability to work in a 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 may be renewed for a further three years 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 Fisheries Scientist – Data Management is a band 13 in SPC’s 2020 salary scale; starting salary range of range 5,314–6,547 SDR (Special Drawing Rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 782,655–964,144 (USD 7,334–9,035; EUR 6,559–8,080). 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: 17 January 2021 – 11:00 pm Noumea Time.

Job Reference: SH000030


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, experience 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 (maximum of 2000 characters per question):

  1. Please describe what you see as the key challenges for data collection and management in regional tuna fisheries.
  2. Please provide an example of a fishery data analysis that you have performed that informed fisheries management.
  3. Please detail an example of a capacity building activity you have undertaken that enhanced the use of fisheries data systems.

JD - Principal Fisheries Scientist (Data Mgmt) (Nov 2020) - rev 1.docx

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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