What is BFAR? A Comprehensive Overview of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources

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The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is a government agency under the Department of Agriculture. It was reconstituted as a line bureau by virtue of Republic Act No. 8550 (Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998). 

The BFAR is responsible for the development, improvement, management, and conservation of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources.

In this article we’ll dive into the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) History, job opportunities and more. keep reading and scroll down for the job list.

BFAR Job Opportunities:

Start an exciting career with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Explore interesting job opportunities that are crucial to developing and preserving the Philippines’ fisheries and aquatic resources.

Take a look at the current job openings listed below or consider checking out positions in other government agencies.


Click on the job title to read detailed job descriptions and find instructions on how to apply. Your journey to a satisfying career in fisheries and aquatic resource management is ready to begin!

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources History:

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
What is BFAR? A Comprehensive Overview of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 3

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) holds a rich history marked by evolution, reorganization, and legislative milestones. 

From its modest beginnings in 1901, BFAR has undergone transformative changes, adapting to the dynamic needs of managing the Philippines’ fisheries and aquatic resources. 

This brief overview captures key moments that have shaped BFAR’s trajectory, from its early educational initiatives to its integration into national ministries and the enactment of pivotal legislation, emphasizing its commitment to sustainable development.

Read more below to gain a deeper understanding of BFAR’s remarkable journey and the crucial role it plays in shaping the sustainable management of the Philippines’ diverse aquatic ecosystems.

Origins (1901-1907):

  • The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) can be traced back to 1901 as the Bureau of Government Laboratories under the Department of Interior of the Philippine Commission.
  • The proposal for an office dedicated to fishery resource management under the Department of Interior, following the establishment of the Civil Government on July 4, 1901, was hindered by limited funds.
  • Secretary of the Interior, Dean Conant Worcester, sustained interest in fisheries development, leading to the initiation of fisheries studies in 1907. 

This effort involved the United States Fish Commission fisheries research vessel USS Albatross working in Philippine waters for 18 months and the employment of an American fisheries specialist in the Bureau of Science.

Advances and Developments (1919-1934):

  • Significant progress in fish taxonomy and documentation of fishing methods occurred under the leadership of Albert William Herre, who served as the chief fishery officer in the Bureau of Science from 1919 to 1928.
  • On January 1, 1933, General Memorandum Order No. 4 merged the Division of Fisheries, Division of Zoology of the Bureau of Science, and the Division of Forest Fauna and Grazing of the Bureau of Forestry into the Fish and Game Administration.

This special division operated under the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, governed by the provisions of the Fisheries Act (Act No. 4003) and Act No. 2590, titled “An Act for the Protection of Game and Fish.”

  • A subsequent reorganization in September 1934 returned the Fish and Game Administration to the Bureau of Science, aiming to strengthen the office through the use of equipment, personnel, and appropriations.

Pre-World War II Period (1941):

  • On July 1, 1941, under General Administrative Order No. 15, the Fish and Game Administration underwent reorganization, becoming an independent unit under the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. It was then renamed the Division of Fisheries.
  • Functions related to forest fauna and grazing were returned to the Bureau of Forestry, while those of the Division of Zoology were transferred to the Bureau of Science.

World War II and Post-War Transformation (1941-1947):

  • During the early days of World War II, the Division of Fisheries merged with the Bureau of Forestry, creating the Bureau of Forestry and Fishery. Later, during the Japanese occupation, the Division of Fisheries transformed into an independent office known as the Bureau of Fisheries.

Post-War Legislative Action (1947)

  • Recognizing the need to effectively administer and conserve fisheries and aquatic resources, the Congress of the Philippines enacted Republic Act No. 177, creating the Bureau of Fisheries. This legislation took effect on July 1, 1947.
  • The Bureau of Fisheries absorbed the Division of Fisheries and all related entities, including sections, field districts, experimental stations, and activities connected with fishery work.

Organizational Structure (1947):

As organized on July 1, 1947, the Bureau of Fisheries underwent a significant restructuring, establishing seven functional divisions to simplify its operations and enhance efficiency:

  •      Administrative Division
  •      Division of Fish Culture and Fisheries Biology
  •      Division of Commercial Fisheries
  •      Division of Fisheries Technology
  •      Division of Licenses and Regulations
  •      Division of Investigation and Inspection
  •      Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology offering a 2½ year course in fisheries on a collegiate level.

Additionally, branches of the Institute offering a 4-year secondary course in fisheries were established in seven provinces.

Fishery Districts and Reorganization (1956-1957):

  •   The entire Philippines was divided into 10 fishery districts, each headed by a District Fishery Officer.
  •   Under Reorganization Plan No. 30-A, executed by Executive Order No. 216 on November 17, 1956, the Bureau of Fisheries underwent reorganization again on January 16, 1957. The functional divisions were reduced from seven to five:
  • Licenses and Regulations Division
  • Marine Fisheries Division
  • Fisheries Research Division
  • Inland Fisheries Division
  • Administrative Services Division.

Evolution and Transformations:

  1. Transfer of Educational Institutions (1963):
  • The Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology was transferred to the University of the Philippines.
  •  Seven secondary schools of fisheries in the provinces were transferred to the Department of Education under the administration of the Bureau of Public Schools.
  1. Philippine Fisheries Commission (1963-1972):
  •   On March 20, 1963, Republic Act No. 3512 reorganized the Bureau into the Philippine Fisheries Commission.
  •   On September 30, 1972, under the Integrated Reorganization Plan, the Philippine Fisheries Commission was reverted to the Bureau of Fisheries.
  1. Renaming and Ministry Placement (1974):
  •    By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 461 signed on May 17, 1974, which reorganized the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources, the Philippine Fisheries Commission was renamed the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
  •    It was placed under the Ministry of Natural Resources.
  1. Transfer to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (1984):
  •    On June 30, 1984, BFAR was transferred from the Ministry of Natural Resources to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
  •    This move was in compliance with Executive Order 967, which mandated the conversion of BFAR into a staff Bureau and the integration of its Regional Offices with the Regional Offices of the Department of Agriculture.
  1. Full Integration and Staff Functions (1987):
  • The staff functions of the Central Office and the integration of BFAR’s Regional Offices into the Regional Offices of the Department of Agriculture were fully implemented with the issuance of Executive Order 116, signed by the President on January 30, 1987.
  1. Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (1998):
  • On February 25, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law Republic Act No. 8550, known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
  • This comprehensive law, effective from March 23, 1998, provided for the development, management, and conservation of fisheries and aquatic resources, integrating all laws pertinent thereto and serving other purposes.

Having undergone a series of strategic reorganizations, BFAR features a modern structure with nine (9) dynamic functional divisions. 

Each division plays a crucial part in the diverse domain of aquatic resource management, demonstrating BFAR’s commitment to staying at the forefront of fisheries and aquatic research, development, and sustainable management. These divisions include:

  1. Fisheries Policy Research and Economics Division
  2. Fishery Resources Administration Division
  3. Fisheries Development and Support Services Division
  4. Aquaculture Division
  5. Fisheries Resources Research Division
  6. EEZ Fisheries and Allied Services Division
  7. Fishing Technology Division
  8. Fisheries Regulation and Quarantine Division
  9. Post Harvest Technology Division

Complementing these divisions are eight (8) fisheries technology centers, showcasing an updated approach and holding vital functions in specialized areas. These centers include:

  1. National Marine Fisheries Development Center
  2. National Brackishwater Aquaculture Technology Research Center
  3. National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Research Center
  4. Tanay Freshwater Experimental Station
  5. Fisheries Biological Station Complex
  6. National Fisheries Research and Development Center
  7. National Seaweeds Technology and Development Center
  8. Mindanao Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center

This strategic alignment shows BFAR’s commitment to maintaining a state-of-the-art presence and fulfilling a key function in the complex arena of fisheries and aquatic resource management.


“To increase fisheries and aquaculture resiliency and production within ecological limits by adopting appropriate and science-based technologies and management system as well as through gender responsive and socially inclusive policies, programs, and projects.”



“A gender-equitable and socially-inclusive institution that excels in climate-adaptive and sustainable fisheries and aquatic resources management, providing quality service towards food fish sufficiency, food security, and improved lives of fisherfolk by 2040”


Serbisyong tapat, isda’y sapat, mangingisda’y angat.”

Societal Goal

“Improved fisherfolk quality of life”

Functions Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources:

BFAR has the following functions:

  • Prepare and implement a comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan.
  • Issue licenses for the operation of commercial fishing vessels.
  • Issue identification cards free of charge to fishworkers engaged in commercial fishing.
  • Monitor and review joint fishing agreements between Filipino citizens and foreigners conducting fishing activities in international waters, ensuring compliance with Philippine commitments under international treaties and conventions on fishing in the high seas.
  • Formulate and implement a Comprehensive Fishery Research and Development Program, including 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 country’s fishery and aquatic resources.
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive Fishery Information System.
  • Provide extensive development support services in all aspects of fisheries production, processing, and marketing.
  • Provide advisory services and technical assistance on the improvement of fish quality throughout the entire distribution and marketing chain.
  • Coordinate efforts related to fishery production with primary fishery producers, LGUs, FARMCS, and fishery organizations/cooperatives.
  • Advise and coordinate with LGUs on maintaining proper sanitation and hygienic practices in fish markets and fish landing areas.
  • Establish a 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, providing necessary facilities, equipment, and training.
  • Implement an inspection system for the import and export of fishery/aquatic products and fish processing establishments consistent with international standards to ensure product quality and safety.
  • Coordinate with LGUs and other concerned agencies for the establishment of productivity-enhancing and market development programs in fishing communities, enabling women to engage in other fisheries/economic activities and contribute significantly to development efforts.
  • Enforce all laws, formulate and enforce rules and regulations governing the conservation and management of fishery resources, except in municipal waters, and settle conflicts of resource use and allocation in consultation with NFARMC, LGUs, and local FARMCS.
  • Develop value-added fishery products for domestic consumption and export.
  • Recommend measures for the protection/enhancement of the fishery industries.
  • Assist LGUs in developing their technical capability in the development, management, regulation, conservation, and protection of fishery resources.
  • Formulate rules and regulations for the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks.
  • Perform other related functions promoting the development, conservation, management, protection, and utilization of fisheries and aquatic resources.

Contact Details:

If you have any question regarding their jobs or any other. You may contact them at the following.

Fisheries Building Complex, BPI Compound, Brgy. Vasra, Visayas Ave, Diliman, Quezon City




The journey of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), it becomes evident that its evolution has been marked by adaptability, strategic restructuring, and a steadfast commitment to the sustainable management of the Philippines’ fisheries and aquatic resources. 

From its humble origins in 1901 to its current form, BFAR has undergone significant changes, expanding its functional divisions and establishing technology centers that emphasize modern approaches and crucial roles in specialized areas.

The current organizational framework, featuring nine functional divisions and eight fisheries technology centers, showcases BFAR’s dedication to staying at the forefront of research, development, and regulatory measures in the complex realm of aquatic resource management. 

The integration of these divisions and centers not only emphasizes BFAR’s commitment but also highlights its harmonized efforts in ensuring coherence and consistency.

As BFAR continues to play a pivotal role in shaping policies, conducting research, and promoting sustainable practices, it stands as a beacon in the multifaceted arena of fisheries and aquatic resource management. 

The Bureau’s ongoing initiatives reflect its adaptability to the dynamic needs of the industry, underscoring its enduring commitment to the responsible stewardship of the Philippines’ rich aquatic ecosystems.


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All information contained here is solely for informational purposes and rightfully belongs to its rightful owner. 

Attached in the last section of the content are references for further verification, if needed. Read more


1. Mission, Vision, Societal Goal, and Functions – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from [https://www.bfar.da.gov.ph/about-us/]

2. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Fisheries_and_Aquatic_Resources]