Ocean Career: Fisheries Technologist at Cefas

This role will be contractually based at the Lowestoft site, with some travel to field sites and other Cefas sites as is required.

As such, the successful candidate will be required to carry out the vast majority of their duties, including preparation and departure for field trips, from the Lowestoft site, and cannot do so from a location outside of the Lowestoft area at any time except when travelling on duty away.


This post with the Salmon and Freshwater (SAF) Team provides an ideal opportunity for you to develop a supporting role, as part of an internationally renowned group of scientists, in the provision of evidence-based advice to national authorities and international partners.

This new role offers the opportunity to build on your existing skill set, and acquire new skills and competences, thereby complementing the existing skills within the SAF Team and across Cefas. You will play an essential role in maintaining a key, long-term field study site used by the SAF Team and its partners over the last 30+ years for in situ experiments that are not possible to conduct elsewhere.

We welcome flexible working, and we are open to a hybrid approach of working in an office and from home.

Cefas is proud of a diverse and inclusive work environment, committed to fairness and the promotion of equality of opportunity for all. We know that having a range of experiences, ways of working and thinking makes us a stronger organisation, better at developing policy that is reflective of the communities we serve. We embrace different views and experiences and value the fresh perspective that people from a variety of circumstances bring to the work we do. We welcome applications from candidates who have not previously worked for the Civil Service, mid- and late-career changers with transferrable skills, people from all backgrounds and circumstances regardless of disability, gender, age ethnicity, LGBT+ identity and socio-economic status.

Job description

We are currently seeking a fisheries technologist to provide technical assistance in the delivery and development of the Team’s R&D evidence programme in support of advice. The post provides an opportunity to join a dynamic, and passionate team that delivers world-class science and evidence-based advice on freshwater and migratory species to the UK government and International bodies. The Team’s portfolio includes the assessment of local, national, and international fish stocks to understand environmental and biological processes, and the development of assessment and management methods for the provision of scientific advice. SAF business includes both publicly-funded projects to address significant policy challenges and private-industry contracts to address local and national issues.

The Team’s work relates directly to UK Government Policy and Legislation as well as agreements adopted by the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation and other international bodies such as the International Council for Exploitation of the Sea.

You will provide technical support to scientific and statistical assessments of fish stocks, fisheries, and the impacts of fishing and other human-generated factors on their ecosystems.

Travel throughout the UK is expected for fieldwork, as is participation in meetings and other scientific events, with foreign travel also a possibility.

The duties will include:

  • Maintenance, on a daily basis, of SAF Team field and laboratory equipment, which is stored at Cefas’ Lowestoft site;
  • Loading and transport of field equipment from Cefas’ Lowestoft site to field study locations;
  • Strenuous field work involving inland and coastal waters;
  • Management of a field study site in southern England in coordination with the landowner and partner institutions;
  • Data handling, collation, and standardisation, including the transcription of field data into electronic form;
  • Contributing to field- and lab-based studies on migratory and freshwater fishes (both native and non-native species), including fish capture and tagging, collection of field samples (including water samples for eDNA analysis), laboratory processing (dissection, scale analysis) of fish, population monitoring and behaviour studies; and
  • Providing support to other SAF Team members in data analysis, in risk analysis of non-native species, in the provision of advice, and in the drafting of project reports and peer-reviewed scientific papers.


Applicants should have a strong interest in freshwater and diadromous fishes and/or aquatic ecology and conservation, also demonstrating an interest in invasion biology and/or risk analysis of non-native aquatic species.

You must be flexible, and capable of undertaking a range of activities, including physically-demanding field work, in support of the SAF Team’s research portfolio. You must be able to interact with scientists working in the field and laboratory and assist them in the collation and analysis of datasets from both observational and experimental studies.

The following are essential criteria required for this role, and you should be able to provide evidence of experience and/or demonstrate your capability in the following areas:

  • Strong interest in freshwater and/or diadromous fishes and/or aquatic ecology and aquatic conservation
  • Ability to carry out physical, potentially strenuous fieldwork duties under a variety of environmental conditions with a good attention to detail and personal safety both during the day and in some cases during night-time and inclement weather conditions;
  • Good communication and time-management skills, with the ability to handle and carry forward to completion multiple tasks at the same time;
  • Willingness to undertake daily duties in the Lowestoft area, where the Team’s field equipment is stored and maintained, and from where field trips begin, which in some cases involve early-morning departures;
  • Basic IT (MS-Office & Outlook 365) and data-handling abilities (e.g. collation and standardisation);
  • Enthusiasm, flexibility, and the ability to work both unsupervised and as part of a team;
  • Full UK driving licence for travel during field work which can be at unsociable hours.


Academic qualifications required for this Cefas Payband 4 vacancy is a minimum of two science A levels in a relevant natural science subject (e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Physics, Zoology) and advanced numeracy skills (i.e. a minimum grade C in A-level Maths or equivalent). Equivalent training and/or relevant work and/or volunteer experience will be considered.

Salary: £24,918 - £26,894
Application deadline: August 17, 2022

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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