(Senior) Fisheries Scientist (stock assessment)

New Caledonia, Nouvelle-Calédonie

  • Noumea-based position (New Caledonia)
  • 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.

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

  1. Research and development
  • Develop and refine methods for the analysis of catch and effort, size and tagging data
  • Contribute to the MULTIFAN-CL project and other research into statistical stock assessment methodologies
  • Contribute to the development of the software used in stock assessment, and related activities
  • Contribute to research into reference points and management strategy evaluation (MSE) for stocks of tuna and tuna-like species
  • Contribute to research into approaches for estimating and describing uncertainty in stock assessment
  • Contribute to methods for evaluating Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) conservation and management measures.
  1. Stock assessment
  • Undertake analyses of catch and effort, size and tagging data for inputs into stock assessment modelling (auxiliary analyses)
  • Undertake stock assessments of tuna and tuna-like species as requested by the WCPFC using modern statistical stock assessment models
  • Characterise the sensitivity/robustness of stock assessment results to alternative model assumptions; e.g. input data, biological parameters and model structures
  • Review, as appropriate, stock assessments and other supporting analyses (e.g. CPUE) undertaken by SPC, the wider WCPFC mandate (e.g. including northern stocks) and other relevant tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (e.g. IATTC).
  1. Management information
  • Estimate key reference points for tuna and tuna-like species
  • Evaluate assumptions used in the assessment of relevant conservation and management measures
  • Evaluate the impacts of alternative management measures for tuna and tuna-like species using stock assessment models
  • Assess the multi-species implications of management measures in mixed fisheries for tuna and tuna-like species
  • Contribute to work on management strategy evaluation.
  1. 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


  1. Qualifications
  • Relevant tertiary qualification, preferably at PhD level, in fisheries science, population biology, stock assessment modelling, natural resource management, or a related discipline.
  1. Technical expertise
  • Thorough knowledge of fisheries stock assessment principles and techniques, and:
    • for appointment at the Senior Fisheries Scientist level, at least seven years of practical fisheries stock assessment experience, including developing scientific advice for fisheries management
    • for appointment at the Fisheries Scientist level, at least three years of fisheries stock assessment experience
  • Experience in the use and/or development of stock assessment models, with experience in integrated stock assessments being an advantage:
    • additionally, for appointment at the Senior Fisheries Scientist level, demonstrated experience in leading stock assessments in a management context
  • Strong quantitative analytical skills, including experience in data modelling and programming
  • Excellent verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English
  • Proven ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary and multicultural team
  • Ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances.
  1. Language skills
  • Proficiency in English is essential, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.
  1. 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 – As soon as possible.

Contract Duration – 3 years.


Remuneration – Appointment will be made at either the Senior Fisheries Scientist level (band 12 in SPC’s 2019 salary scale; starting salary range of range 4,580–5,629 SDR [Special Drawing Rights] per month, equivalent to approximately XPF 654,276–804,095 (USD 6,503–7,993; EUR 5,483–6,738); or the Fisheries Scientist level (band 11; starting salary range of 4,022–4,931 SDR per month, equivalent to approximately XPF 574,566–704,457 (USD 5,711-7,002; EUR 4,815–5,903). 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: 8 September 2019

Job Reference: AL000213


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.



  1. Describe a complex statistical or mathematical analysis of fisheries data that you have been involved in.
  2. Describe your involvement in a stock assessment and/or the development of a stock assessment model.
  3. What do you believe are some key technical challenges facing integrated stock assessments today?

JD - Senior Fisheries Scientist (Stock Assessment - WCPFC)_Oct2018.docx

Type: Contract - International

Category: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: AL000213

Date Posted: 08/08/2019