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Senior Fisheries Scientist (Fish Aggregation Devices)


  • Organization: SPC - Pacific Community
  • Location: Nouméa
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Fisheries
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources
  • Closing Date: 2022-10-16
  • 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 27 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 Senior Fisheries Scientist (Fish Aggregation Devices) will develop and manage projects and support staff, and conduct research and complex analyses, related to Fish Aggregation Device (FADs) use in the Pacific region. The position will play a major coordination role in regional project work with partners in Pacific Island Countries and Territories, industry and other organisations. The role will drive improved understanding of FAD use, management issues and implications for tuna fisheries and ecosystems in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

Lead the research and development on fish aggregation devices (FADs)

  • Provide leadership in scientific research and analyses related to the use, monitoring, impacts and management advice for FADs, focusing on the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).
  • Develop and improve analytical methods to characterize trends in FAD usage and impacts on fisheries, ecosystems and Species of Special Interest (SSI).
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of FAD management measures in achieving management objectives.
  • Work with regional organizations (PNA, FFA), national fisheries agencies and NGOs to coordinate FAD work and improve data collection and monitoring programmes.
  • Work with international partners in other oceans and regions to ensure global learning is captured.
  • Strategic planning of research and development on FADs.

Provision of advice at national, sub-region (FFA, PNA) and regional (WCPFC) levels for FAD related research and management topics

  • Report annually to WCPFC and/or its subsidiary bodies and working groups (Science Committee/Technical Compliance Committee/Northern Committee/FAD working group) on FAD research, monitoring and development.
  • Provide technical support and data summaries to FFA and PNA regional and sub-regional meetings.
  • Provide SPC-member country assistance and capacity building support on FAD-related issues.

Team leadership, line management, mentoring and staff training

  • Manage support staff involved in FAD-related research.
  • Oversee day-to-day activities of the FAD research team and project work.
  • Contribute to planning processes for the OFP section and in the development of strategic and operational work plans related to FADs.

Project Management, grant writing and obtaining funds

  • Liaison with OFP administrative assistants, procurement and finance staff regarding quotes, orders, cash advances, etc. for the management and administration of projects and remotely located staff.
  • Lead project proposal development and identify funding opportunities for new and/or on‐going projects ‐ act as project lead on key projects.
  • Develops workplans for delivering projects.


  • Works closely with stakeholders on project development, design, and implementation.
  • Communicates progress and outcomes of research to stakeholders.
  • Work with SPC communications staff to extend and promote FAD research work and outcomes.

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


Key selection criteria


  • PhD in fisheries or environmental science, statistical modelling and data analysis, or a related discipline.

Technical expertise

  • At least 8 years of quantitative data analysis experience including statistical analysis and working with spatio-temporal data sets.
  • At least 3 years’ experience in data modelling & programming in R, or other related statistical analysis software.
  • Demonstrated experience of at least 3 years, in developing and managing project activities, including obtaining funding and delivering final reports.
  • Experience in managing scientific staff and projects.
  • Ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances.

Language skills

  • Strong verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Proven ability to supervise the tasks of an inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team
  • 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 funding and performance.

Remuneration – the Senior Fisheries Scientist (Fish Aggregation Devices) is a band 12 position in SPC’s 2022 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 4,685–5,760 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 670,858–824,789 (USD 6,699–8,236; EUR 5,622–6,912). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is 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 fair, 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: 16 October 2022 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)

Job Reference: SH000172

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

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.

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


Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):

  1. Can you describe an example of a complex data analysis that you have conducted that was used to provide management advice for a fisheries related issue.
  2. What do you think are the key management issues related to the use of drifting FADs in tuna fisheries with specific consideration of the Pacific region?
  3. What do you think are the main challenges for monitoring the number of drifting FADs deployed each year in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean?


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.