ORONO — University of Maine researchers have developed a biodegradable golf ball made from lobster shells.

Intended for use on cruise ships, the balls are made from crushed lobster shells with a biodegradable binder and coating. The balls are the brainchild of Carin Poeschel Orr, who earned a master’s degree in marine bio-resources at the university.

The ball was developed by David Neivandt, biological and chemical engineering professor, and undergraduate Alex Caddell of Winterport, with help from The Lobster Institute.

The university has a provisional patent for the lobster shell mixture which can be used for other products such as plant pots and surveying stakes.

The shells are provided by the lobster processing industry which has traditionally sent them to landfills.

The raw material for the balls costs about 19 cents each. The balls are expected to retail at competitive prices.