Open position: Fisheries Scientist / Senior Fisheries Scientist – Stock Assessment – Deadline 25 June 2023
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 – This appointment will be made at either the Senior Fisheries Scientist or the Fisheries Scientist level, depending on the skills and experience of the successful candidate.
The key responsibilities of the role include the following:
Research and development
- Develop and refine methods for the analysis of catch and effort, size composition, growth and tagging data.
- Contribute to the MULTIFAN-CL project and other research into statistical stock assessment methodologies.
- Contribute to the development of the software used in stock assessment and related activities, as required.
- Contribute to research into approaches for estimating and describing uncertainty in stock assessment.
- Contribute to methods for evaluating WCPFC Conservation and Management measures.
- Develop and conduct research in areas related to your skillset and interests relevant for tuna and tuna like stock assessments.
- Undertake analyses of catch and effort, size composition, growth and tagging data for inputs for stock assessment modelling.
- Lead/support stock assessments of tunas and tuna-like species as requested by the WCPFC using modern statistical stock assessment models.
- Characterise the sensitivity/robustness of stock assessment results to alternative model assumptions.
- As required, review stock assessments and other supporting analyses undertaken by SPC, external consultants, the wider WCPFC mandate and other relevant tuna RFMOs.
- Estimate key reference points for tuna and tuna-like species.
- Evaluate risk relative to relevant reference levels.
- Evaluate assumptions used in the assessment of relevant Conservation and Management Measures.
- Evaluate the impacts of alternative management measures, for tuna and tuna-like species using stock assessment models.
- Contribute to work on Management Strategy Evaluation as required.
- Present clearly and at the appropriate level, the results of technical analyses to scientists, fisheries managers and other stakeholders.
- Produce clearly written reports and present the results of technical analyses in English.
- Contribute to the international body of fisheries knowledge though presentations and publications.
- Collaborate, as appropriate, with scientists within SPC, the WCPFC membership, and other relevant organisations.
- Contribute to regional capacity building in stock assessment as required.
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.
Key selection criteria
- Relevant tertiary qualification, preferably at PhD level, in fisheries science, stock assessment modelling or other similar statistical modelling, population biology or a related discipline.
- Thorough knowledge of fisheries stock assessment principles and techniques.
- Consideration of appointment at the Senior Fisheries or Fisheries Scientists levels will be based on, but not limited to, the extent of experience in the development and delivery of complex fisheries stock assessments, in particular integrated stock assessment approaches. Seven years’ experience is desirable for the Senior Fisheries Scientist level and three years’ experience is desirable for the Fisheries Scientist level, which may include postgraduate studies depending on their relevance to this role.
- Experience in the use and/or development of stock assessment models, with experience in delivering integrated stock assessments being an advantage:
- additionally, for appointment at the Senior Fisheries Scientist level, demonstrated experience in leading integrated stock assessments in a management context will be highly valued.
- Strong quantitative analytical skills, mathematics competency, and experience in statistical modelling and programming.
- Ability to meet project deadlines, often under tight timelines.
- Excellent verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English.
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
- A team player, with the ability to work effectively as a member of interdisciplinary teams and in a multicultural setting.
- Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories and direct experience of tuna fisheries in the Pacific region 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.
Remuneration – Appointment will be made at either the Senior Fisheries Scientist level band 12 in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 4,792-5,894 per month which converts to approximately XPF 725,912-892,813 (USD 6,421-7,898; EUR 6,083-7,482); or the Fisheries Scientist level band 11 with a starting salary range of SDR 4,206-5,161 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 637,132-781,844 (USD 5,636-6,916; EUR 5,339-6,552). 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 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.
Closing date: 25 June 2023 – 11:00 pm (Noumea time)
Job Reference: CR000008
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.
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 (maximum of 2.000 characters per question):
- Describe a complex statistical or mathematical analysis of fisheries data that you have been involved in.
- Describe your involvement in a stock assessment and/or the development of an integrated stock assessment model. If possible, use an example where the assessment was delivered in a management context.
- What do you believe are some key technical challenges facing integrated stock assessments of widely distributed highly migratory species?