(Senior) Fisheries Scientist - Fisheries Statistician

New Caledonia, Nouvelle-Calédonie

  • 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 organisation works across more than 20 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 is located at SPC’s headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia, and comprises 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 This appointment will be made at either the Senior Fisheries Scientist or the Fisheries Scientist level, depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate, to undertake analyses developing indices of relative abundance of tuna and tuna-like species from purse seine and longline fisheries, and provide advice for stocks under the management of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The position is part of the new EU-funded “Pacific EU Marine Partnership” (PEUMP) Programme that commenced September 2018.

Reporting to the Principal Fisheries Scientist (Stock Assessment and Modelling), the role will be responsible for the following major functions:

  • Research and development
    • Develop appropriate data sets of purse seine logsheet, observer and vessel characteristics
    • Develop and refine methods for analysis of data to investigate critical factors affecting purse seine CPUE
    • Develop indices of relative abundance from purse seine fisheries for input into key WCPO tuna stock assessments
    • Support analyses of data and investigate new approaches for standardisation of longline CPUE data to improve assessment inputs
    • Evaluate factors that influence ‘effort creep’ within the purse seine fishery, quantify levels of effort creep, and evaluate the quantitative link between these and stock impact
    • Evaluate using available information the potential impact of FAD use, advances in FAD technology and associated fleet behaviours on catch rates
    • Evaluate factors that influence ‘effort creep’ within the longline fishery, quantify levels of effort creep, and the link between these and stock impact
  • Stock assessment
    • prepare abundance indices for relevant WCPO stock assessments
  • Communication
    • Present clearly and at the appropriate level, the results of technical analyses to scientists and fisheries managers
    • Produce clearly written reports and presentations of the results of technical analyses
    • Contribute to the international body of fisheries knowledge though presentations and publications
    • Collaborate, as appropriate, with scientists within SPC, the WCPFC membership, and other relevant organisations.


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


    Key selection criteria


  • Qualifications
    • Master degree in statistical modelling, fisheries science, population biology, natural resource management, or a related discipline.
  • Technical expertise
    • Thorough knowledge of direct application of complex statistical analyses in a fisheries context:
      • for appointment at the Senior Fisheries Scientist level, at least a Masters degree with seven years or a PhD with 3 years experience of direct application of complex statistical analyses in a fisheries context.
      • for appointment at the Fisheries Scientist level, a Masters degree with less than seven years or a PhD with less than 3 years experience of direct application of complex statistical analyses in a fisheries context.
    • Strong quantitative analytical skills, including experience in data modelling & programming (R, C++ or ADMB).
    • Knowledge of fisheries stock assessment principles and techniques.
    • Ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances.
  • Language skills
    • Proficiency in English is essential, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.
  • Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
    • Excellent interpersonal skills that contribute to building productive relationships and partnerships across SPC and with stakeholders.
    • A team player, with the ability to work effectively as a member of interdisciplinary teams and in a multicultural setting.
    • Cultural sensitivity and a demonstrated understanding of developing country environments.
    • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories and direct experience of tuna fisheries in the Pacific region is an advantage.


    Salary, terms and conditions


    Required start date – from January 2019

    Contract Duration – 3 years

    Remuneration – Appointment will be made at either the Senior Fisheries Scientist level (band 12 in SPC’s 2018 salary scale; starting salary range of range 4,580–5,629 SDR [Special Drawing Rights] per month, equivalent to approximately XPF 675,802–830,549 (USD 6,320–7,767; EUR 5,663–6,960); or the Fisheries Scientist level (band 11; starting salary range of 4,022–4,931 SDR per month, equivalent to approximately XPF 593,469–727,634 (USD 5,550–6,805; EUR 4,973–6,098). An offer of appointment to one of these positions will be made, dependent on the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate in relation to the criteria as outlined above. An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of the relevant range, with due consideration being given to qualifications and experience. 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).


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


    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.


    Application procedure


    Closing date: 18th of November 2018

    Job Reference: AL000109

    Please use SPC’s online recruitment system to lodge your application:  http://careers.spc.int/

    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 against the key selection criteria as listed above, and interest in this position
    • responses to all screening questions

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

    All international 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.



  • Describe a complex statistical or mathematical analysis of fisheries data that you have been involved in.
  • What are the key statistical challenges when standardising fishery CPUE time series for input to stock assessments?
  • Describe why ‘effort creep’ in fisheries needs to be understood.

  • http://spc.turborecruit.com.au/position_description/773/JD PEUMP fisheries statistician CPUE.pdf

    Category: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

    Reference ID: AL000109

    Date Posted: 26/09/2018