The interaction of bioactive compounds from ethanolic extracts of selected marine algae samples, separated on chromatographic plates, with nitric/nitrous acid was investigated. The nature of bioactive compounds in the marine algae extracts was characterised using UV absorption spectra before and after reaction with diluted nitric acid, and from the characteristic colour reaction after derivatization with anisaldehyde. It was found that diterpenes from Dictyota dichotoma, an edible brown algae, and sterols from green algae Caulerpa brachypus, bind nitric oxide and may act as a nitric oxide carrier. Although the carotenoid fucoxanthin, found in all brown marine algae also binds nitric oxide, the bonds between nitrogen and the fucoxanthin molecule are much stronger. Further studies are required to evaluate the effects of diterpenes from Dictyota dichotoma and sterols from green algae Caulerpa brachypus to see if they have beneficial cardiovascular effects. The method reported here should prove useful in screening large numbers of algae species for compounds with cardiovascular activity.