Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

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Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources logo.jpg
Established May 17, 1974
Head Malcolm I. Sarmiento, Jr.
Address Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Building, Elliptical Road Diliman, Quezon City
Tel. No. +63 (2) 929 9597 ; 929 8074
E-Mail info@bfar.da.gov.ph
Website www.bfar.da.gov.ph

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Republic of the Philippines is the government agency responsible for developing, conserving, and monitoring the use of the country's water resources.



Upon the establishment of the civil government on 4 July 1901, the Philippine Commission submitted a proposal for an office that would oversee the country's fisheries. The proposal was not approved due to lack of money, but the Secretary of Interior continued to push for its creation.

In 1907, the U.S. Fishing Commission research vessel "Albatross" was allowed to work in Philippine waters, bringing along a number of American fisheries specialists. They remained under the control of the Bureau of Science until 1932.

On 1 January 1933, General Memorandum Order No. 4 of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce created the Fish and Game Administration by combining the Division of Fisheries, Division of Zoology, and Division of Forest Fauna and Grazing. The Fish and Game Administration was later reorganized into an independent agency – the Division of Fisheries – under the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

The Bureau of Fisheries operated until 1941 when the war broke out. Under foreign rule, it was fused with the Bureau of Forestry, but was restored sometime later.

On 20 March 1963, the Bureau of Fisheries was reorganized into the Philippine Fisheries Commission under Republic Act 3512, but this was reverted by Presidential Decree No. 461 on 17 May 1974. The Philippine Fisheries Commission became the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, under the Ministry of Natural Resources.

By 30 June 1984, the BFAR became a staff bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

After a series of reorganizations, the BFAR now consists of nine major divisions.The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 took effect 23 March 1998 through Republic Act No. 8550. The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute was also created to help with the functions of BFAR.

Mission and vision

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources aims to turn the Philippines' fishing industry into a self-sustaining entity, and to improve the lives of the the country's fishing sector by optimizing offshore and deep-sea resources, and improving available post-harvest technologies.

Divisions and Offices

BFAR has nine functional divisions and eight Fisheries Technology Centers, including:


  • Fisheries Policy Research and Economics
  • Fisheries Development and Support Services
  • Fishery Resources Administration
  • Exclusive Economic Zone Fisheries and Allied Services
  • Aquaculture Division, Fisheries Resources Research
  • Fisheries Regulation and Quarantine
  • Post Harvest Technology
  • Fishing Technology

Fisheries Technology Centers

  • National Brackishwater Aquaculture Technology Research Center
  • National Marine Fisheries Development Center
  • Tanay Freshwater Experimental Station
  • National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Research Center
  • National Fisheries Research and Development Center
  • Fisheries Biological Station Complex
  • Mindanao Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center
  • National Seaweeds Technology and Development Center


  • Preparation and implementation of a comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan
  • Issuance of licenses for the operation of commercial fishing vessels.
  • Issuance of identification cards free of charge to fish workers engaged in commercial fishing
  • Monitoring and review of joint fishing agreements between Filipino citizens and foreigners who conduct fishing activities in international waters and ensuring that such agreements are not contrary to Philippine commitment under international treaties and convention on fishing in the high seas
  • Formulation and implementation of a Comprehensive Fishery Research and Development Program, such as, but not limited to, sea farming, sea ranching, tropical / ornamental fish and seaweed culture, aimed at increasing resource productivity improving resource use efficiency, and ensuring the long term sustainability of the county's fishery and aquatic resources
  • Establishment and maintenance of a comprehensive Fishery Information System
  • Provision of extensive development support services in all aspects of fisheries production, processing and marketing
  • Provision of advisory services and technical assistance on the improvement of quality of fish from the time it is caught (i.e., on board fishing vessels, at landing areas, fish markets, to the processing plants and to the distribution and marketing chain)
  • Coordination of efforts relating to fishery production undertaken by the primary fishery producers, LGUs, FARMCs, fishery and organization / cooperatives.
  • Advise and coordination with LGUs on the maintenance of proper sanitation and hygienic practices in fish markets and fish landing areas.
  • Establishment of corps of specialists in collaboration with the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government and Department of Foreign Affairs for the efficient monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing activities within Philippine territorial waters and provision of the necessary facilities, equipment and training.
  • Implementation of inspection system for import and export of fishery / aquatic products and fish processing establishments consistent with international standards to ensure product quality and safety.
  • Coordination with LGUs and other concerned agencies for the establishment of productivity-enhancing and market development programs in fishing communities to enable women to engage in other fisheries / economic activities and contribute significantly to development efforts.
  • Enforcement of all laws, formulation and enforcement of all rules and regulations governing the conservation and management of fishery resources, except in municipal waters and to settle conflicts of resource use and allocation in consultation with the NFARMC, LGUs and local FARMCs.
  • Development of value-added fishery products for domestic consumption and export.
  • Recommendation of measures for the protection / enhancement of the fishery industries.
  • Assistance to the LGUs in developing their technical capability in the development, management, regulation conservation and protection of the fishery resources.
  • Formulation of rules and regulations for the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.
  • Performance of such other related functions which shall promote the development, conservation, management protection and utilization of fisheries and aquatic resources.


  • Agriculture and fisheries support services for increased productivity and income
  1. Production support services
  2. Aquaculture for rural development
  3. Market development services
  4. Post-harvest and other agricultural infrastructure/support services
  • Applied and basic R&D (research and development) services
  1. Extension support, education and training services
  2. Research and development services
  • Comprehensive regulatory services
  • Plans, policy, programs and project formulation, coordination advocacy, monitoring and evaluation

Regional Offices


External links



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