The global market for Marine Biotechnology is projected to reach US$6.1 billion by 2025, driven by the rise of "circular economy" as the blueprint for a new sustainable economy in the 21st century. Against the backdrop of this age of "Sustainalism", marine biotechnology is in the spotlight as it carries an ocean of answers to several of the stubborn conventional polluting practices currently adopted. From addressing the plastics threat by using marine organisms to produce eco-friendly chemicals like biopolymers, developing microbial energy as an environmentally-friendly alternative to crude oil and gas to developing natural and safe life-saving pharmaceuticals, marine biotechnology holds answers to several of the most urgent and pressing questions faced today. The global bioplastics and biopolymers market is increasingly looking towards new advances made in marine biotechnology to develop completely new class of biodegradable biopolymers. New research has revealed the ability to process crabs, shrimp, and prawn biowastes into naturally occurring biopolymers "chitin" and "chitosan". Chitosan, like Polylactic acid (PLA), also features beneficial characteristics such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, antimicrobial activity, high mechanical strength, and chemical inertness. Marine biotechnology is also immensely influencing the energy industry. The development of new ways to produce microbial energy and microbial energy conversion holds immense promise in utilizing available forest biomass inventory for generating electricity. New concepts like "Microbial Fuel Cells" are also taking flight backed by the progress made in this field. While food crops and ligno-cellulosic plant biomass have long been studied and commercialized as an alternative feedstock for biofuels production, new developments in marine biotechnology are helping bring even marine macro algae "Ulva Lactuca" as a potential feedstock for the production of bio-ethanol and biogas production. Energy production from marine biomass is therefore an exciting example of how marine biotechnology can change our energy production practices.
Another industry that is also witnessing the revolutionizing influence of marine biotechnology is the pharmaceutical industry. Pharma companies plunge into the seas in search of newer, safer, natural & more effective drugs. Marine organisms-derived chemicals have the advantage of abundance and can be easily produced in large scale. New discoveries and development of marine peptides will drive growth of peptide therapeutics in the coming years. Bioactive marine compounds developed so far include Alkaloids, Lactones, Hydroxybenzene, Quinones, Peptides, Sterides, Aether, and Ketal. Marine-derived pharmaceuticals are already making an impact on therapeutic areas such as anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungus, anti-virus, pest resistance, and pulmonary hypertensive vascular disease (PHVD), among others. Nutraceuticals, cosmetics and antibiotics will witness the biggest impact, followed by bioactives and bio-assays in clinical diagnostics. With numerous pharmacological properties waiting to be exploited, there are strong investment opportunities for further research in this space. Environmental remediation also represents another interesting area of opportunity with new biotechnological approaches helping develop novel biosensing technologies, and anti-fouling technologies for protection and management of the environment. The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 56.5% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 13.5% over the analysis period supported by several recent marine biotechnology advances made by Chinese organizations in boosting sustainable aquaculture production to emerge as the world's largest producer, consumer, processor, and exporter of seafood.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others, Aker BioMarine, Aqua Bio Technology ASA, BASF SE, CP Kelco, Cyanotech Corp., GlycoMar Ltd., Lonza Group Ltd., Marinova Pty Ltd, New England Biolabs Inc., NovaMatrix, Nutrex Hawaii Inc., oceanBASIS GmbH, PharmaMar S.A, Prolume Ltd, Royal DSM N.V, Sea Run Holdings Inc., SEPPIC, Tequesta BioVentures.