The adaptation of marine organisms to a wide range of environmental conditions in the specific environment (temperature, salinity,
tides, pressure, radiation, light, etc.) has made them an enormous reservoir of interesting biological material for both basic research
and biotechnological improvements. Both this evolutionary richness and the knowledge of enzyme action including the comprehension of
interactive effects of the environmental factors, are of key importance to exploit biocatalyst’s potential. But above all a marine enzyme
may carry novel chemical and stereochemical properties thus biocatalytically oriented studies (testing of suitable substrates, appropriate
checking of reaction conditions, study of stereochemical asset of catalysis) should be performed to appropriately reveal this “chemical
In this review article, comparing among enzymes from terrestrial and marine environments, ten cases in point will be depicted after general
considerations on marine organisms and marine biocatalysts. Each case has been selected for its importance related to the field of
biocatalysis, showing practical details to value the concept of potential usefulness of marine enzymes for organic chemists.
From this analysis a foresight regarding the strategic potential of marine habitat resulted clear. Sustainability of collection methods and
availability of commercial fresh organisms are two important aspects, also in relation to international policy on biodiversity. As early as
scientific interest arise, possibly the way to access useful biocatalysts should avoid destructive large-scale collections of marine biomass,
then recombinant biocatalysts become desirable and should be possible after gene identification.