Legal Officer (Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture)

Nouméa, New Caledonia

  • 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 and Aquaculture Programme (CFAP). CFAP’s goal is to ensure that inshore fisheries, nearshore fisheries and aquaculture in Pacific Island countries and territories are managed and developed sustainably. The programme assists governments and administrations to develop scientifically informed and socially achievable coastal fisheries management policies and procedures (national and community-based). It provides support for sustainable aquaculture, including planning, research and development, aquatic biosecurity and trade, for Pacific Island governments, the private sector and other stakeholders. It assists in developing sustainable nearshore fisheries in Pacific Island countries and territories to provide for food security, sustainable livelihoods, economic growth and assist climate change adaptation.

The role the Legal Officer (Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture) will provide support to strengthen the enabling legal frameworks for effective coastal fisheries and aquaculture management and enhanced compliance in Pacific Islands.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

Supporting the review, analysis and development of coastal fisheries and aquaculture legislation

  • Provide support in reviewing and drafting coastal fisheries and aquaculture legislation.
  • Write and contribute to reports, articles and publications on legal issues encountered in the coastal fisheries and aquaculture sector.
  • Provide legal input to enable effective coastal fisheries and aquaculture management and enhance compliance with legislation.

Assisting with capacity building activities on the preparation and implementation of coastal fisheries and aquaculture legislation

  • Initiate and support the organisation and delivery of training activities and stakeholder consultations, both online and offline.
  • Assist with developing awareness raising materials for magistrates and decision makers on coastal fisheries and aquaculture legislation.
  • Ensure that all relevant sections of the REEFLEX online database are up-to-date and develop new tools or materials.

Collaborating with other work areas within and across SPC sections, programmes and divisions, and other regional organisations

  • Liaise and work with CFAP staff to integrate legal work into the areas of science, policy, compliance and community management.
  • Liaise with the Aquaculture Section to incorporate aquaculture and aquatic biosecurity concerns in legislation.
  • Liaise and work with the FAME Information and MEL Sections to give visibility to CFAP’s work assisting PICTs in advancing legal matters.
  • Liaise with other SPC Divisions and Programmes such as Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Programme (CCES)l, Human Rights and Social Development (HRSD) Division, Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme and others.

Section administration and communication

  • Assist the Legal Adviser in developing and reporting on the Section’s annual work plan, consistent with the CFAP 5-Year Plan and FAME Business Plan.
  • Produces reports for all activities undertaken in the appropriate format for the activity, including technical/legal reports and trip reports.
  • Contributes to Programme and Divisional publications.
  • Maintains up to date corporate and administrative procedures records for all activities undertaken.


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


Key selection criteria


  • Bachelor’s degree in law, marine resources management or related disciplines.

Technical expertise

  • At least 3 years of practical experience working with legal documents, policies or management plans.
  • Detailed understanding of legal frameworks governing natural resources, including marine resources.
  • Experience in preparing and reviewing legal documents, policies or management plans.
  • Experience in facilitating workshops and providing training on legal matters.
  • Excellent computer skills across necessary applications.
  • Willingness to travel and work in the Pacific region for extended periods.

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written).

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Previous interaction with and knowledge of fisheries agencies in the Pacific region.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work with people from different technical skills and cultural backgrounds.


Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 30 September 2026 and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.

Remuneration – the Legal Officer (Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture) is a band 8 position in SPC’s 2024 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,912–3,544 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 430,728–524,172 (USD 3,873–4,713; EUR 3,609–4,393). 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 faire, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, 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: 3 March 2024 – 11:00 pm, Noumea time

Job Reference: CR000201

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.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.


Screening questions

  1. Describe your experience in reviewing and analysing legal documents dealing with natural resources, preferably marine resources.
  2. Give examples of your involvement in facilitating stakeholder consultations and delivering training sessions on legal matters.
  3. Do you have specific experience in drafting legislation or other legal documents related to natural resources management (preferably marine)? Please give examples.

Position Description

Type: Contract - International

Category: Fisheries - Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: CR000201

Date Posted: 02/02/2024