The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly 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 renowned 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). CFP’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 systems (national and community-based). It provides a regional framework for sustainable aquaculture, including planning, research and development 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 food security, sustain livelihoods, promote economic growth and assist climate change adaptation.

The role – The Pacific Island Fisheries Professional (Coastal Fisheries Science) will support the Coastal Fisheries Scientists, with providing support and advice to governments, stakeholders and the private sector in planning and implementing coastal fisheries science activities, focusing on coastal finfish and/or invertebrate resources and their supporting habitats.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

Assess the status of coastal living marine resources including their supporting habitats and the social and demographic aspects of coastal and community fisheries to inform management

  • Assists with conducting surveys of finfish and/or invertebrates and their supporting habitats across Pacific Island Countries (PICs) and Timor Leste, including entry of data collected into national/regional databases.
  • Assists with conducting fisheries socioeconomic surveys across PICs.
  • Assists with conducting virtual or face to face training of local staff in survey methodologies for finfish, invertebrate resources, associated habitats and fisheries socioeconomics.
  • Assists with the analysis of data collected and the production of reports.
  • Assists with turning scientific advice into management recommendations for both community-based and national management approaches.
  • Assists with the development or review of coastal fisheries management plans.

Practical assistance to members in designing and targeting appropriate awareness raising and educational and training tools and information

  • Assists with developing materials such as training manuals, guidelines, information sheets and other educational or awareness materials.
  • Works with other CFP staff to contribute to the development of on-line learning tools for remote access by member countries.

Section administration and communication

  • Assists the Adviser and Senior Scientist, to develop the annual work plan and reports for the Section.
  • Maintains up to date corporate and administrative procedures for all activities undertaken.
  • Acquits any cash advances that are used for fieldwork with receipts for all expenditure.
  • Produces 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.

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

Key selection criteria

Pacific Islands

  • Only applicants from Pacific Island countries are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be employed in a Pacific Island fisheries or conservation / environment department or a recognised NGO working in the field of coastal fisheries science, management or monitoring in a Pacific Island country.


  • A recognised degree in a discipline relevant to coastal fisheries assessments (finfish and/or invertebrates), or related field.
  • Current open-water SCUBA diving certificate and medically fit and able to dive in a range of environments.

Technical expertise

  • At least two years’ direct relevant experience in Pacific Islands coastal fisheries, particularly applied field research for coastal finfish and/or invertebrates.
  • Demonstrated experience in undertaking surveys for coastal finfish and/or invertebrates using a range of methodologies.
  • Strong PC based computer skills with knowledge of software programmes for data entry and analysis.
  • Willingness to travel and undertake overseas assignments in SPC member countries, sometimes under difficult physical conditions.

Language skills

  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) in English.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Understanding of current Pacific Island regional coastal fisheries management and science issues, and experience of working with gender issues relating to fisheries.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team as well as undertake unsupervised work, and communicate with people from various ethnic, cultural and educational backgrounds.

Salary, terms and conditions

Requirements: Only applicants who are nationals and residents of Pacific Island countries are eligible to apply. Applicants must be employed in or contracted by a Pacific Island fisheries or conservation / environment agency, or a recognized NGO working in the field of coastal fisheries science, management or monitoring in a Pacific Island country.

Letter of endorsement –A signed letter from the employer, stating they agree to release the applicant for the attachment and that the position will be held for the applicant to return to at the end of the attachment with SPC must be provided before an appointment can be finalized.

Required start date – The position is to be filled from January 2023 and appointment is not renewable beyond 364 days. ** Regional and national regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately determine when and if the appointee can start employment in Noumea, New Caledonia, as per the job requirements. 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 Pacific Island Fisheries Professional (Coastal Fisheries Science) is a Band 8 position in SPC’s 2022 salary scale, with a salary of SDR (special drawing rights) 2,850 per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 408,167 (USD 4,076; EUR 3,420). SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits  SPC provides subsidized housing in Noumea, an establishment grant, return airfare, and will reimburse excess accompanied luggage of up to two additional bags. Employees are entitled to: 25 days annual leave and 30 days sick leave per annum; medical and life insurance; and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

We encourage all eligible candidates to apply but please note that as this is a special short-term contract, the full list of benefits included in other international contract types are not available. Appointees may bring their families, but all extra costs for travel, insurance, education, housing and other additional expenses will be their own responsibility.

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. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

Application procedure

Closing date: 9 October 2022 – 11:00 pm Noumea Time

Job Reference: SH000166

Applicants must apply online here.

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):

  • What are the main coastal fisheries science and management issues being faced in the Pacific?
  • Summarize in 400 words fisheries independent and dependent monitoring?
  • According to you, why are gender issues important in coastal fisheries science and management?

Click here to find out more about the position.