During the last two decades, discoveries of new members of actinomycetes and novel metabolites from marine environments have drawn attention to such environments, such as sediment and sponge. For the successful isolation of actinomycetes from marine environments, many factors including the use of enrichment and pre-treatment techniques, and the selection of growth media and antibiotic supplements should be taken into account. High-throughput cultivation is an innovative technique that mimics nature, eliminates undesired, fast-growing bacteria and creates suitable conditions for rare, slow-growing actinomycetes. This review comprehensively evaluates the traditional and innovative techniques and strategies used for the isolation of actinomycetes from marine sponge and sediment samples. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.