Principal Aquaculture Adviser

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 Principal Aquaculture Adviser will lead and manage the work programme of the Aquaculture Section to provide guidance, support and advice to governments, private sector, communities, other aquaculture stakeholders in planning aquaculture and mariculture activities, including aquatic biosecurity, focusing on appropriate and viable aquaculture to provide for food security, sustainable and equitable livelihoods, and economic growth.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:


  1. Section leadership, management, administration and communication
  • Develops, in consultation with the FAME Deputy Director (CFAP) and other senior CFAP staff, the Section’s annual work plan and work plan reports consistent with the Business and strategic plans and available funding.
  • Manages the activities of the Section consistent with annual work plans and available funding.
  • Develops, in consultation with the FAME Deputy Director (CFAP) funding and/or cost-recovery proposals to ensure that work plans are adequately funded.
  1. Manage, guide and assist with developing and supporting aquatic biosecurity
  • Supports the implementation of the Regional Framework on Aquatic Biosecurity.
  • Ensures that PICTS are meeting international reporting obligations for aquatic biosecurity.
  • Oversees the screening and surveillance of relevant aquatic pathogens in PICTs and ensures the outcomes are reported.
  • Promotes testing of products for health safety, eco-labelling and product brands to provide competitive advantage for the Pacific.
  • Establishes best practices for border controls, surveillance and reporting on the movement and introduction of live aquatic species and genetically modified organisms.
  1. Finalise the development of the Pacific regional aquaculture futures strategy and guide its implementation, including supporting the development of subregional plans and national sector plans, policies and legislation.
  • Provides technical advice on the development of sub-regional roadmap on aquaculture.
  • Provides regional and technical advice upon which to develop policy and regulatory frameworks.
  1. Manage, guide and assist with the identification, development, and support of livelihood opportunities to provide for food security and economic growth, through mariculture, aquaculture and freshwater fisheries
  • Oversees the support for aquatic/blue food systems initiatives internally and externally.
  • Oversees the forging of strategic links between population growth, socio-economic and nutritional requirements with opportunities for new food sources from aquaculture such as small pond culture of fish.
  • Oversees feasibility studies for the promotion and development of emerging freshwater fisheries.
  1. Support private sector enterprise development, research and capacity building programmes in the region
  • Assists countries to weigh the economic cost-benefits of investments in aquaculture.
  • Supports industry development, particularly SMEs through the provision of technical advice, economic modelling and market intelligence.
  • Supports research and development projects to identify new commodities for farming and address industry bottlenecks.
  • Assists in the uptake of new technology in the region and technology transfer between countries.
  • Seeks resources to meet the training requirements of government and private sector operators.
  1. Serve as the Pacific regional focal point and advocate for the sector and promote and support internal and inter-agency networking and cross-sectoral collaboration in the region’s aquaculture sector.
  • Maintains links to relevant UN agencies, international organisations and donor agencies.
  • Develop and promote collaborations with other programmes and divisions within SPC.
  • Develop links with other CROP agencies, regional universities, NGOs and CSOs in regard to aquaculture management and livelihoods to minimise the risk of duplication of work.
  • Advocate at regional and global forums on behalf of the Pacific islands’ region sectoral interests.


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


Key selection criteria


  1. Qualifications
  • Postgraduate degree in aquaculture, or a related field.
  1. Technical expertise
  • At least 10 years’ experience working fields relevant to Pacific Island aquaculture practice and policy.
  • At least 5 years of experience in staff management, team leadership, project development and project management.
  • Proven ability to design, plan and facilitate community and regional workshops and other trainings.
  • Experience in successfully collaborating and working with other institutions and partners to achieve shared aquaculture goals, and in negotiating with people from different ethnic, cultural and educational backgrounds.
  • Experience working with PC systems and MS Office software.
  • Willingness to travel and undertake overseas assignments in SPC member countries.
  1. Language skills
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and demonstrated ability to produce written reports for donors, funding proposals, trip reports, training materials etc.
  1. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Understanding of current Pacific Islands regional aquaculture development and management issues, and experience of working with gender and human rights-based issues relating to aquaculture.



Salary, terms and conditions


Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 August 2026 and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.


Remuneration – the Principal Aquaculture Adviser is a Band 13 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 5,314–6,547 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 777,925–958,318 (USD 7,387–9,100; EUR 6,519–8,031). 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 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 bilinguism, 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: 23 January 2022 – 11:00 pm, Noumea time

Job Reference: AL000446


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. Aquaculture within the Pacific islands’ region is generally considered to be underdeveloped. What do you consider to be the primary constraints to realising effective aquaculture development in the region, and some key related policy and management actions needed?
  2. What would you consider to be the key elements of a new 5-year regional strategy for aquaculture in the Pacific region?
  3. Please outline what you understand are the key aspects of aquatic biosecurity, and what do you see as the most important areas of aquatic biosecurity for the aquaculture sector in the Pacific region?

JD Principal Aquaculture Adviser_08-12-2021.docx

Type: Contract - International

Category: Fisheries - Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: AL000446

Date Posted: 09/12/2021