Job Opportunity: Plastics Researchers at the Sustainable Seas Trust

The Research Department of Sustainable Seas Trust is looking for researchers to quantify the amount of plastic waste from vessels, including the amount of Ghost Gear polluting the waters.

Initially this will be specific to South African waters, and then other countries of Africa in due course. Information and data on waste, including derelict fishing gear being discarded or lost by vessels, is scarce in Africa. Sustainable Seas Trust is developing a project that will establish baselines on the amounts, types, and hotspots of waste from these vessels in South Africa. The position being advertised is for full-time employment based in Port Elizabeth. However, due to the current global COVID-19 pandemic, the successful applicant will need to initially work from home. This is a wonderful opportunity for a researcher passionate about ocean conservation.

SST is inviting suitably qualified applicants to fill the position of Researcher: Waste from Vessels and Ghost Gear Project. The successful applicant will need to take the lead on developing this project, including a baseline programme to ensure that annual data on the amounts, types and hotspots of generated waste by vessels is monitored. This project will serve as a guide to waste management strategies in South Africa.

The Tasks Will Include, But are Not Limited to:

  1. Conducting interviews with stakeholders in the fisheries industry to estimate the types and amounts of waste being discarded from vessels across the country.
  2. Developing surveys to conduct the above interviews.
  3. Starting a database of fishing gear loss-rates from various fishing sectors in the country. This will include the type of gear, the weight and number of each gear component.
  4. Holding workshops with stakeholders to better understand the issues surrounding the discarding of waste, including fishing gear, by the different fishing sectors.
  5. Collaborating with university departments to develop surveys and databases, as well as to attract students to conduct research in collaboration with SST.
  6. Travelling nationally and internationally, as required, to gain knowledge and insight on the topic.
  7. Liaising with the Head of Research and SST management on budgets, projects, and staff management.


  1. Minimum of a master’s degree in marine sciences i.e. one or more of the following: conservation, fisheries science, wildlife and fisheries management, or any other relevant degree, OR
  2. At least five years professional experience in the fisheries and/or maritime industry.
  3. Proven ability to start and manage a project.
  4. Excellent communication skills, including a proven record of excellence in writing with a supporting publication record.
  5. Computer literate, with advanced skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  6. Appropriate statistical analyses skills.
  7. Scientific integrity and good work ethics.
  8. A proven ability to work with people from various sectors of society.
  9. Driver’s licence.
  10. A minimum of three contactable references.

Skills and Abilities that Would be Beneficial

  1. Experience with conducting surveys and interviews.
  2. Multiple languages.
  3. An international language, other than English, spoken in Africa (e.g. French).
  4. Knowledge of the fisheries sector and maritime law.
  5. An understanding of the plastics industry.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science
American Academy of Underwater Sciences

ECO Magazine is a marine science publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997


Newsletter Signup

Please type your full name.

Please type your full name.

Invalid email address.

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. Clicking subscribe confirms your acceptance of our privacy policy.