- Republic Act No. 177(June 20, 1947) created the Bureau of Fisheries under the Department of Agriculture and Commerce, incorporating into the Bureau the Division of Fisheries under the said Department and all sections, field districts, experimental stations and all activities and agencies of the National Government connected with fishery work.
- Republic Act No. 3512(March 20, 1963) reorganized the Bureau of Fisheries into a Philippine Fisheries Commission (PFC) under the direct control and supervision of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (formerly Department of Agriculture and Commerce).
- Integrated Reorganization Plan of 1972. (September 24, 1972) renamed the PFC back to Bureau of Fisheries.
- Presidential Decree No. 461 (May 17, 1974) reorganized the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources into two separate departments, i.e., Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources, renamed the Bureau of Fisheries as Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and placed it under the Department of Natural Resources.
- Executive Order No. 967(June 30, 1984) transferred BFAR from the Ministry of Natural Resources (nomenclature change due to parliamentary form of government) to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF), converting it into a staff bureau and integrating its regional offices (ROs) into the MAF's ROs.
- Executive Order No. 116 (January 30, 1987) reorganized the MAF into the Ministry of Agriculture and sustained the staff bureau status of BFAR.
- Republic Act No. 8550 (February 25, 1998), the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, provided for the development, management and conservation of the fisheries and aquatic resources and integrated all pertinent laws into the code, reconstituting BFAR into a line bureau under the Department of Agriculture (under presidential form of government this time) and creating the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) as the research arm of the Bureau.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is responsible for the development, improvement, management, and conservation of the country's fishery and aquatic resources.
The Fisheries agency is one of the oldest structures in the history of the Philippine bureaucracy. Basic functions concerning the development of the country's fisheries and aquatic resources were already being undertaken by some agencies (as the Bureau of Science) through a Fisheries Division in early 1900s. In the 1930s, a Fish and Game Administration (FGA) was established which integrated the Division of Fisheries and Division of Zoology of the Bureau of Science with the Division of Forest Fauna and Grazing in the Bureau of Forestry. The FGA was transformedback to a Division of Fisheries under the Department of Agriculture and Commerce in 1939. RA 177 converted the said division into a Bureau of Fisheries.