Senior Fisheries Scientist (Climate) At Pacific Community

*The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Senior Fisheries Scientist (Climate) within its Oceanic Fisheries Programme located at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.*


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 26 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 Senior Fisheries Scientist (Climate) *–* will undertake a programme of work that supports the fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis objectives in the FAME Business Plan. This is to be achieved through the use and development of models to analyse and interpret information on the impacts of climate on the assessment and management of the tuna stocks and associated species in the SPC and adjacent areas.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

1. Coordination of climate forecasting for fisheries

• Consolidate the SPC/OFP ecosystem modelling team and activity, and coordinate developments and collaborations with international scientific organisations involved in Pacific Ocean and Climate sciences.

• Design / contribute to / lead components of SPC/OFP projects dealing with ecosystem and tuna modelling applications, ecosystem monitoring indicators and impacts of climate changes.

2. Climate and ecosystem modelling

• Improving the definition, processing and access to the essential physical and biogeochemical forcing variables used to represent the oceanic environment of the pelagic ecosystem, tuna spatial dynamics and their fisheries.

3. Provision of scientific advice

• Represent SPC in international conferences and meetings dealing with ocean ecosystem modelling, ocean climate change and ecosystem monitoring.

• Leading or contributing to reports and publications.

4. Develop national and regional capability

• Build capacity for national and regional institutions to apply climate models to evaluate impacts on Western Central Pacific Ocean ecosystems and tuna fisheries.

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

Key selection criteria

1. Qualifications

• A PhD in a highly computationally orientated field.

2. Technical expertise

• 10 years or more experience applying ecosystem models to tuna fisheries.

• An excellent research track record in fisheries science as evidenced by quality and number of research publications.

• Well-developed analytical skills using various software and applications.

3. Language skills

• Excellent verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English, both at a technical level and in the preparation of information destined for the general public.

4. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

• A team player, with the ability to work in a multi-diverse and multi-cultural environment.

• Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted until 31 December 2023 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 being able to relocate to the duty station (Noumea). In most cases, appointment would only commence when relocation to the duty station is possible. However, options for temporary flexible or remote working arrangements may be discussed with the selected candidate. In the event of remote working, the value of the remuneration package will be adjusted to reflect the staff member’s home location.

Remuneration – The Senior Fisheries Scientist (Climate) is a Band 12 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 4,685-5,760 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 685,755-843,105 (USD 6,512-8,006; EUR 5,747-7,065). 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 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.

How to apply

Application procedure

Closing date: 25 of July 2023 – 11:00 pm Noumea time

Job Reference: AL000397

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

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. Briefly describe why understanding the impact of climate on Pacific fisheries is important to Pacific Island Nations.
  2. Briefly describe an example of how the results of a statistical or modelling analysis you performed have been used.
  3. Briefly describe the biological and environmental processes that are likely to impact the spatial distribution of tropical tunas and related species. What types of data, and statistical approaches to modelling those data, would you view as potential means of estimating functional relationships between the movement and distribution of tunas, and their environment?
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