Senior Fisheries Scientist (Tuna Ecology and Biology)

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 lead field-work and lab-based research to provide quality data on dynamics and life history of skipjack, yellowfin, bigeye and albacore tuna to improve regional tuna stock assessments. The position is part of the new EU-funded “Pacific EU Marine Partnership” (PEUMP) Programme that commences in September 2018.


Reporting to the Principal Fisheries Scientist (Fisheries and Ecosystem Monitoring and Analyses), the role will be responsible for the following major functions:

  • Data acquisition on tuna ecology and biology to support stock assessment and ecosystem-based fisheries management
    • Conduct research on the tuna biology and ecology and participate in ecological and biological research that delivers new knowledge on tuna fisheries, tuna populations, tuna biology and their physical and biological environment
    • Develop tuna ecosystem monitoring by designing strategies for tagging and biological sample collections (otoliths, stomach content, tissue) from diverse sources (observer-based, ship of opportunity, tagging and scientific cruise) and supervise the implementation of these designs and undertake fieldwork when required
    • Coordinate, supervise and undertake laboratory work and provide training for staff, attached staff or trainees in laboratory
  • Data analysis and modelling of tuna biology and ecology
    • Analyse tuna biology and ecology data and incorporate these and other information into existing and/or new analytical frameworks and models
    • Participate in ecological and biological analyses and model development that delivers new knowledge on the relationships between tuna fisheries, tuna populations, bycatch populations and their physical and biological environment
    • Analyse climate change impact on tuna biology and ecology through model simulation and ecosystem-scale analyses
  • Information and capacity development at regional level for WCPFC and national level for SPC members
    • Provide training to attachments in tuna biology and ecology and related analytical approaches and modelling
    • Contribute where applicable to OFP, FAME and SPC publications, such as Fisheries Newsletters, annual reports, and results reporting for CRGA and donors
    • Produce reports for all activities undertaken in the appropriate format for the activity including technical reports and trip reports, and input to funding proposals, donor reports
  • Project development, planning, resource mobilisation, reporting and administration
    • Assists the Section Head, to develop the annual work plans and work plan reports for the Section, consistent with the FAME business plan
    • Maintains up to date corporate and administrative procedures for all activities undertaken
    • Fills in for the other staff when they are on leave or duty travel, when required

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


    Key selection criteria


  • Qualifications
    • A relevant postgraduate qualification, preferably at PhD level, in fisheries science, population biology, population genetics, age and growth, ecosystem modelling or a related discipline or equivalent experience.
  • Technical expertise
    • Thorough knowledge of direct application in marine ecological research ideally directed at the development of scientific advice for fisheries management:
      • 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 in fisheries biology and ecology.
      • 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 in fisheries biology and ecology.
    • Publications in fisheries biology and ecology
    • Demonstrated quantitative analytical skills
  • 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).


    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: 28th of October 2018

    Job Reference: AL000110


    Please use SPC’s online recruitment system to lodge your application:

    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 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 laboratory-based analysis of fisheries biology/ecology that you have led, your role in the analysis and what was achieved.
  • What are the key issues you consider fishery managers should be aware of when reviewing scientific advice?
  • What is your perspective on how technology could be better used to understand the behaviour of tunas in relation to fish aggregation devices?
  • What are your views on how modern population genetics techniques can contribute to our understanding of widely-distributed pelagic fish population structure, and why is such information important for assessment and management of these stocks?

  • Fisheries Scientist (Tuna Ecology and Biology).docx

    Category: Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

    Reference ID: AL000110

    Date Posted: 27/09/2018