Team Leader - Fisheries Monitoring Science

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 Programme (CFP). The goal of the OFP is to ensure fisheries that exploit the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability using the best available scientific information. In pursuing this goal, the OFP provides scientific support for the management of fisheries for tuna and associated species, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis and data management. The OFP works closely with member countries and territories, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and other regional and sub-regional entities.

The role – the Team Leader - Fisheries Monitoring Science will conduct research and provide information to support OFP tuna stock assessment work.  Its primary focus is the organisation of the Pacific Tuna Tagging Project with responsibilities for planning and implementing the research cruises in the WCPO. The role purpose will also include publication and communication of the research on tuna ecology and the tuna fisheries.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

Enhance data collection and provide data management services for fisheries & marine ecosystems

  • Drive implementation of OFP’s fisheries and ecosystems research
  • Assist member countries and territories with strategic national research programs
  • Coordinate the implementation of FAME at sea research experiments and scientific cruises
  • Conduct or provide capacity building to FAME staff to conduct field-based ocean science
  • Develop Terms of Reference, recruit, contract and manage research service providers
  • Provide quality assurance and oversight on OFPs research charters
  • Develop systems, tools and support services for standardised data collection, management, and reporting

Provide authoritative analyses and advice for evidence-based fisheries management

  • Provide ecosystem, climate change, biodiversity, marine resource ecology and fisheries assessments, models and analyses
  • Develop and incorporate quality, results-focused and people-centred new projects and funding proposals
  • Contribute evidence towards resource mobilisation efforts

Provide and facilitate access to fisheries information

  • Collaborate with internal and external partners to develop information and knowledge products
  • Support large-scale regional fisheries projects and programmes to promote Pacific ocean science
  • Conduct or provide capacity building to member staff to enhance their ocean research capabilities

FAME priorities for implementing SPC organizational objectives

  • Lead, manage and mentor the fisheries monitoring science team to deliver high quality technical and capacity building work
  • Develop, in consultation with the Director and other senior FAME staff, annual work plans and work plan reports for the Section consistent with the FAME Business Plan
  • Manage the activities of the fisheries monitoring science team consistent with the annual work plan and available funding
  • Seek continuous improvements and facilitate innovation across the fisheries monitoring science team including through professional development opportunities

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


Key selection criteria


  • A postgraduate degree in fisheries science, population biology, or a related discipline

Technical expertise

  • At least ten to twelve years of professional experience in the supervision and conduct of field-based fisheries research activities
  • At least 5 years of experience in staff management and team leadership including mentoring, staff appraisal and performance management
  • A strong sea-going record and extensive experience in the planning and implementation of field research programmes using commercial and/or research vessels
  • Demonstrated skills in fisheries biology
  • Ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances
  • Proven experience in liaising and negotiating with people from different ethnic, cultural, and educational backgrounds
  • Experience in budget development and execution

Language skills

  • Excellent verbal and communications skills in English and French

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Proven ability to supervise the tasks of an inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team
  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage


Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 3 years and is subject to renewal depending on funding and performance.

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 Team Leader - Fisheries Monitoring Science is a band 12 position in SPC’s 2022 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 4,685–5,760 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 670,858–824,789 (USD 6,699–8,236; EUR 5,622–6,912). 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 fair, 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: 10 July 2022 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)

Job Reference: AL000481

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.


Screening questions (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):

  1. Please identify the types of research or commercial vessels that would be suitable for implementing large scale tuna tagging activities in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
  2. How does tuna tagging help monitor tuna populations and associated ecosystems in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean
  3. Which species of tuna is tagging the most effective method for monitoring their population dynamics


Type: Contract - International

Category: Fisheries - Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Reference ID: AL000481

Date Posted: 13/06/2022