Director of Conservation & Fisheries

  • Conservation
  • Georgetown, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Director of Conservation & Fisheries

Job description

JOB PURPOSE: To lead the Ascension Island Government’s Conservation & Fisheries Directorate and protect the island’s biodiversity through delivery of the Ascension Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. This post is funded by the UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme.


  1. Manage the Conservation and Fisheries Directorate to deliver the Ascension Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and Protected Area Management Plans.
  2. Oversee the implementation of the Ascension Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management Plan and Monitoring, Research and Evaluation Strategy with support from the UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme.
  3. Project management and successful delivery of externally-funded projects.
  4. Prepare policies to underpin biodiversity protection on Ascension and ensure informed and consistent decision-making.
  5. Prepare funding proposals and manage core and project budgets.
  6. Perform the functions of the Ascension Island Chief Biosecurity Officer to ensure the effective implementation of the Biosecurity Strategy.
  7. Ensure the effective management of inshore fisheries around Ascension including the issuing of licences and coordination of fish stock assessments.
  8. In collaboration with the UK Government Blue Belt Programme, implement a system of effective surveillance and enforcement to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Ascension Island MPA.
  9. Provide technical environmental advice and reporting to the Administrator, other government departments, local stakeholders and the Island Council on biodiversity protection issues, as necessary.
  10. Ensure that Ascension’s commitments under national and international agreements, particularly the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on Migratory Species and Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species, are met.
  11. Build links and maintain relationships with relevant experts in other UK overseas territories, the UK Government and international academic institutions and NGOs.
  12. Manage relationships with the local community, Councillors and stakeholders ensuring their views are considered in the development of AIG strategies and policies.
  13. Sit as a member of the Harbours Board to implement the Harbours Ordinance
  14. Undertake any other duties as required by the Administrator


  1. To undertake the main duties of the post (detailed above) to the highest possible standard
  2. To Comply with Health and Safety at Work procedures. Conduct all work in a safe and responsible manner, including fieldwork in hazardous and remote locations. Ensure staff, volunteers and visitors working with you conduct all work in a safe and responsible manner, guided by the relevant risk assessments.
  3. Work closely with AIG colleagues, external project partners and other stakeholders to complete the main duties of the post.
  4. To abide by the AIGCFD data management policy with regards to responsible archiving and documentation of scientific datasets




  1. Significant relevant experience in applied conservation.
  2. Proven record of strategic planning and project design.
  3. Leadership and line management experience.
  4. Project and financial management experience.
  5. Proven ability to secure grant funding.
  6. Experience of development control and licensing casework.
  7. Degree in biology, environmental science or a related subject.
  8. Ability to design research and monitoring programmes and translate the results into practical conservation management.
  9. Strong interpersonal skills, and experience of developing partnerships and relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  10. Excellent communications skills, including the ability to communicate technical issues to a wide range of audiences.
  11. High level of computer literacy.
  12. Full clean driving licence.


1. Knowledge of relevant international law and agreements including the operation of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.

2. Knowledge of biodiversity protection in the UK Overseas Territories

3. Proven experience of policy development.

4. Postgraduate qualification in biology, environmental science or a related subject.

This Job Description indicates the main duties and responsibilities of the post. It is not intended as an exhaustive list.

The Ascension Island Government (AIG) reserves the right to amend this Job Description from time to time according to operational needs. Any changes will be discussed with you and confirmed in writing. Please note that you share with AIG the responsibility for making suggestions to alter the scope of your duties and improve the effectiveness of your post.

Updated: March 2023