The Philippines is an archipelagic nation of more than 7,000 islands with marine resources under intense pressure from market-driven extraction, numerous maritime interests to protect, and pressing issues including pollution, overfishing and degradation of resources, ineffective regulation of coastal and marine resources, population growth, urbanization and poverty. Over 60 percent of the Philippines’ more than 100 million population live in coastal areas. From the perspective of demography alone, the significance of the fisheries sector for the Philippine population is considerable. Yet, ethnographic work written by Filipinos on coastal fishing communities in the Philippines is surprisingly sparse. In terms of published books and academic journals, there are more non-Filipino authors than local ones. Given the Philippines’ archipelagic character and reliance on aquatic resources, an important question looms: Why hasn’t the surrounding sea played a larger role in the rise of Philippine anthropology?