Fisheries Scientist / Senior Fisheries Scientist – Stock Assessment

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division

About the organization

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 organisation works across more than 20 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.

Contract Duration – This position is budgeted for 3 years 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 – Appointment will be made in SPC’s salary scale at either the Senior Fisheries Scientist level (band 12 in SPC’s 2021 salary scale range; starting salary range of 4,685–5,760 SDR [Special Drawing Rights] per month, equivalent to approximately XPF 685,755-843,105 (USD 6,512-8,006; EUR 5,747-7,065); or the Fisheries Scientist level band 11 in SPC’s 2021 salary scale; starting salary range of 4,113–5,045 SDR [Special Drawing Rights] per month, equivalent to approximately XPF 602,042–738,463 (USD 5,717–7,012; EUR 5,045–6,188). 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 relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance, and education allowance are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual 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 be given to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

Duties

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.
Reporting to the Principal Fisheries Scientist (Stock Assessment and Modelling), the role will be responsible for the following major functions:
1. Research and development
• Develop and refine methods for the analysis of catch and effort, size, 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, including ensemble modelling approaches and weighting methods,
• 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.

2. Stock assessment
• Undertake analyses of catch and effort, size, growth and tagging data for inputs for stock assessment modelling (auxiliary analyses),
• Lead 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, e.g. input data, biological parameters, and model structures,
• Review, as appropriate, stock assessments and other supporting analyses (e.g. CPUE) undertaken by SPC, external consultants, the wider WCPFC mandate (e.g. including northern stocks), and other relevant tuna RFMOs (e.g. IATTC).

3. Management information
• 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, including approaches such as stock projections,
• Contribute to work on MSE (management strategy evaluation) and harvest strategies as required.

4. Communication
• Present clearly and at the appropriate level, the results of technical analyses to scientists and fisheries managers,
• Produce clearly written reports and presentations of the results of technical analyses,
• 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.

Qualifications

1. Qualifications
• Relevant tertiary qualification, preferably at PhD level, in fisheries science, stock assessment modelling or other similar statistical modelling, population biology or a related discipline.

2. Technical expertise
• 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, and in delivering integrated stock assessments being an advantage:
o 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.
• Excellent verbal and written presentation and communication skills in English.
• Ability to meet project deadlines, often under tight time-lines.

3. Language skills
• Proficiency in English is essential, with a basic knowledge of French being an advantage.

4. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
• Excellent interpersonal skills that contribute to building productive relationships and partnerships across SPC and with stakeholders.
• A team player, with the ability to work effectively as a member of interdisciplinary teams and in a multicultural setting.
• Cultural sensitivity and a demonstrated understanding of developing country environments.
• Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories and direct experience of tuna fisheries in the Pacific region is an advantage.

Salary

USD 6,512-8,006

Application instructions

Closing date: 7 March 2021 – 11:00 pm Noumea Time.
Job Reference: AL000369

Please use SPC’s online recruitment system to lodge your application: http://careers.spc.int/
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 international 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: (2.000 characters maximum per question)
1. Describe a complex statistical or mathematical analysis of fisheries data that you have been involved in.
2. Describe your involvement in a stock assessment and/or the development of a stock assessment model.
3. What do you believe are some key technical challenges facing integrated stock assessments today?

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Equal Opportunity Employment

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.


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