Pacific Community

Senior Fisheries Technician (Tag Recovery and Biological Sampling)

Pacific Community

Job Description

  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 and Aquaculture Programme (CFAP). 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 Technician (Tag Recovery and Biological Sampling) will provide technical and logistical support and expertise to scientific research activities. Its primary focus is the Pacific Tuna Tagging Project with responsibilities for coordinating tag recovery and training agents and observers throughout the Pacific region in tag recovery protocols. This includes the development and improvement of standard operating procedures and the use of fisheries intelligence information to maximise tags recovered from the fishing industry. The position also contributes to the region’s biological sampling projects.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following: 1. Data Collection

• Supervise, monitor and co-ordinate SPC agents and regional collaborators to implement tag recovery, seeding and biological sampling protocols and standards.

• Implement and promote tag recovery throughout the region’s fisheries administrations, industry and associated communities.

• Lead the development and supervise the revisions of PIRFO training standards and course material for tag recovery, tag seeding and biological sampling.

• Develop online training material for e-learning, manage and supervise online training for Tag Recovery and Biological Sampling Programs.

• Monitor training of observers conducted by PIRFO certified trainers in tag seeding, tag recovery and biological sampling course components.

• Supervise the tag validation process and lead the development of tag validation standards.

• Support the development of Electronic Reporting Apps in collection of tagging and biological sampling data.

• Providing logistical and planning support for research cruises and projects.

• Assisting with laboratory analysis and collection of samples onboard fishing vessel and in port as required.

2. Data Analysis

• Undertake routine analyses to identify likely tag recovery locations and circumstances to forewarn SPC agents of tag recovery opportunities.

• Undertake regular analysis to identify poor performing tag recovery/biological sampling locations.

• Prepare updates on tag recovery and biological sampling progress.

• Contribute to the preparation of project reports.

3. Other duties

• Perform such duties consistent with the objectives of the Project as directed by the Principal Fisheries Scientist.

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

Key selection criteria

1. Qualifications

• A relevant tertiary qualification in fisheries science, oceanography, biology, ecology, or a related discipline or equivalent experience.

2. Technical expertise

• At least 5-6 years of thorough knowledge of tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and scientific methods for tuna tagging and biological sampling (including at least 3 years of practical experience).

• Experience in delivering observer training or other relevant vocational training.

• A history of working in isolated locations.

• Experience in the planning and implementation of Field Research programmes.

• Demonstrated ability to meet project deadlines under difficult circumstances.

• Demonstrated ability to supervise and manage staff.

3. Language skills

• Excellent English language oral and written communications skills.

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 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 – the Senior Scientist Technician (Tag Recovery and Biological Sampling) is a Band 9 position in SPC’s 2021 salary scale, with a starting salary range of SDR (special drawing rights) 3,140-3,829 per month, which converts to approximately XPF 459,673-560,502 (USD 4,365-5,322; EUR 3,852-4,697). 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 faire, 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.

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