The Philippine Association of Marine Science (PAMS) was organized in 1990 during the First National Symposium in Marine Science which was convened by the UP Marine Science Institute-UNDP at the Bolinao Marine Laboratory in Bolinao Pangasinan.

PAMS was a response to the need for a national organization that would link together various academic, government and private institutions, NGOs, and industries involved in marine science research and development in the country.

Since then, PAMS has grown from a modest association of 76 charter members composed of delegates from all over the Philippines to more than 300 members today. PAMS is a member of the Science Council of Asia (SCA), an association of science organizations from ten countries.

PAMS carries the task of promoting growth of marine science in the country, and recognizes the important role of Philippine scientists in furthering knowledge on tropical marine ecosystems. In line with this goal, PAMS organizes the National Symposium in Marine Science every two years, held in the three main island groups (Luzon, Visays, and Mindanao) of the country.