Principal Fisheries Scientist - Stock Assessment & Modelling

Noumea, New Caledonia

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





The Pacific Community 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 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 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 – Stock Assessment & Modellingwill plan, manage and communicate the work of the Stock Assessment and Modelling Section. He or She will oversee the provision of stock assessment-related services to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), other sub-regional groups and SPC members; and contribute to the stock assessment and other analytical work of the Section as necessary.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

  1. Section leadership, management, administration and communication
  • Assist the Deputy Director FAME (OFP) and the FAME senior management team (SMT) in strategic planning to ensure that the work for the Section meets the needs of SPC members and other Programme clients;
  • Engage as part of the FAME SMT on broad issues of relevance to SPC as a whole;
  • Develop, in consultation with the Deputy Director FAME (OFP), Chief Scientist and other senior programme staff, annual work plans and work plan reports for the Section consistent with the business and strategic plans;
  • Manage the activities of the Section consistent with annual work plans and available funding, including undertaking the role of Project Manager for projects falling under the responsibility of the Section;
  • Implement the SPC staff performance planning and management system for the Section;
  • Liaise with Deputy Director (OFP), OFP clients, other regional and global fisheries agencies and the scientific community on stock assessment-related issues;
  • Contribute to Programme, Divisional and Corporate publications.
  1. WCPFC stock assessment and management strategy evaluation
  • Oversee the delivery of all contracted stock assessment services and special projects to WCPFC by the Stock Assessment & Modelling Section, with direct participation as appropriate;
  • Undertake stock assessments and supporting analyses for target and bycatch species as required;
  • Evaluate the conservation benefits and implications of current and potential WCPFC Conservation and Management Measures through scenario modelling and management strategy evaluation (MSE), and serve as project manager for the NZ-funded Pacific Tuna MSE project that currently underpins this work;
  • Provide stock assessment-related advice and services, such as project proposals and/or evaluations, to the WCPFC Secretariat, the WCPFC Scientific Committee and its technical working groups, as required.
  1. FFA and other sub-regional scientific support services
  • Oversee the delivery of technical scientific support services to the FFA and sub-regional groups by the Stock Assessment and Modelling Section;
  • Contribute to technical work detailed in the work plan as required.
  1. National-level advice
  • Oversee the delivery of national-level advice to SPC members through national web pages, Issue-Specific National Reports, Tuna Management Plan support, and other processes (including ad-hoc requests);
  • Contribute to the delivery of National-level advice, as required.
  1. Capacity building of SPC members
  • Oversee the Section’s delivery of capacity building in stock assessment and modelling to SPC members;
  • Contribute to capacity building activities as required, including the ‘Capacity Development’ activity of the EU PEUMP project.
  1. PEUMP project
  • Support the implementation of appropriate parts of the Pacific EU Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme with cost recovery of staff time up to 10%, based on actual work undertaken on this programme with supporting time sheets;
  • Work closely with other components of the PEUMP programme to ensure smooth implementation;
  • Oversee implementation of activity ‘Improved modelling of relative abundance using catch per unit effort’ of the EU PEUMP project.


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



Key selection criteria


  1. Qualifications
  • PhD degree or equivalent in fisheries science or related discipline.
  1. Technical expertise
  • At least 7 years of relevant postdoctoral research experience in the use and/or development of statistical, length or age-structured stock assessment models;
  • At least 3 years demonstrated experience in staff management, budgeting for science projects, team leadership, project development and project management;
  • Broad knowledge of marine science, fisheries biology and oceanography;
  • Detailed knowledge of methods used in fisheries stock assessment, management scenario modelling, MSE and the use of scientific information in fisheries management.
  1. Language skills
  • Excellent communication skills in English particularly in written and oral presentation of scientific results to diverse audiences.
  1. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and able to build individual capacity of his/her team members;
  • A team player, with the ability to manage and support staff in a team environment and relationships critical for collaborative projects;
  • 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 as soon as possible.

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

Remuneration – The Principal Fisheries Scientist – Stock Assessment & Modelling is a Band 13 position in SPC’s 2019 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 5,194–6,396 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 742,040 –913,800 (USD 7,376–9,083; EUR 6,218–7,658). 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 relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance, and education allowance are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Equal opportunity – SPC is an equal opportunity employer. Recruitment is based entirely on merit; in cases where two short-listed candidates are judged to be of equal rank by the selection committee, preference will be given to Pacific Island nationals.

Child protection – SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Police clearance – Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.

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



Application procedure


Closing date: 8 Septembre 2019

Job Reference: AL000208


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. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of ‘integrated stock assessment models’ for the provision of fisheries management advice. Refer to any examples in which you have been directly involved.
  2. How does oceanographic variability impact stock assessments? Is it important to explicitly account for it?
  3. What do you see as the role of ‘Management Strategy Evaluation’ in fisheries management?



Final_JD_Principal Fisheries Scientist (Stock assessment)_190730.docx

Type: Contract - International

Category: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: AL000208

Date Posted: 09/08/2019