BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation partnership. Through our unique local-to-global approach, we deliver high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. Recognising the multiple threats affecting seabirds, BirdLife International established its International Marine Programme in 1997, now working in 120 countries and in waters beyond their national jurisdictions, known as the high seas.

The objective of the programme is to halt the decline of seabird populations. We work through different strategies among which is the tackling seabird bycatch, a component where we work with fishers, national experts, and the scientific community to reduce seabird bycatch through testing and implementing solutions.

In 2017, BirdLife started a first seabird and sea turtle bycatch project in seven countries of the West African Sub regional Fisheries Commission’s (SRFC) area – Mauritania, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. The project is ensuring that sound scientific research is collectively generated and shared with key stakeholders, upscaling fisheries’ observers monitoring skills, raising regional awareness about bycatch impacts, and implementing mitigation measures.

Job Overview

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Bycatch Mitigation Instructor to join the bycatch project team. We are looking for a dynamic and experienced individual to coordinate and lead the technical aspects of assisting in the delivery of trainings to fishing observers (related to data collection and species identification), coordinating bycatch mitigation trails, managing data on species/fisheries interactions, and to develop relationships within the fisheries sector so as to foster trust and collaboration for understanding and addressing seabird bycatch.

You will work as part of the BirdLife West Africa Marine Conservation Programme team (based in Dakar) and will have frequent contact with the wider bycatch project partners in SRFC Region.

In this role, you will work with fishing companies, governments, fisheries departments, research institutes, and the rest of the bycatch team to prepare, conduct, and report back on mitigation trials onboard industrial vessels across the region. You will conduct regular harbour visits to engage with fishing crew, establish relationships, provide opportunities for communication to and from crew, and to record all visits and relevant information in a database.

  • Location: Dakar, Senegal
  • Full time: 40 hours per week
  • Contract: 18 months
  • Gross Salary: €24,000 pro rata per annum dependent on skills and experience, plus competitive 12% pension benefit


  • Fieldwork experience with at-sea work, including devising field protocols for research, and at-sea data collection;
  • Proven knowledge of the environmental / fishery sector in the SRFC region;
  • Familiarity with the operating context for regional fisheries organisations in West Africa;
  • Demonstration of knowledge on bycatch mitigation trials, and threatened bycatch data collection (especially seabirds and sea turtles);
  • Good knowledge of bycatch mitigation measures (specially for seabirds and sea turtles), bycatch issues, and an awareness of relevant legislation;
  • Ability to strengthen relationships and collaboration with other relevant organization and reviewing the capacity needs of governments in addressing bycatch;
  • Experience in collaborating with governmental institutions and organising meetings / workshops with technical and local stakeholders including fishers in a potentially politically sensitive environment;
  • Demonstration of professional experience in a relevant field and in the strategic development and management of new programs of work;
  • Ability to maintain an up-to-date compilation of research related to bycatch mitigation measures;
  • Good report writing skills;
  • Clear understanding of seabird and sea turtle conservation needs and the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries, particularly within the geographical scope of the bycatch project;

The ideal Candidate would have:

  • University degree in natural sciences and their practical application;
  • Demonstrate knowledge in marine science and conservation;
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to promote BirdLife with stakeholders in international organisations, government, and civil society;
  • Ability to give presentations to international audiences;
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office package;
  • Proficient in statistical tools for scientific analysis;
  • Fluent in Portuguese and English, additional French language skills would be advantageous;

Applications should include a covering letter summarising the applicant’s suitability for the position, a detailed CV clearly stating languages proficiency and contact details of two referees known to the applicant in a professional capacity. Applications should be sent by email, stating where the advert was seen, to: recruitment-west-africa@birdlife.org

Interviews: Only shortlisted candidates

Bycatch Mitigation Instructor – job description (PDF)