Many forms of renewable energy exist in the world's oceans, with ocean wave energy showing great potential. However, the ocean environment presents many challenges for cost-effective renewable energy conversion, including optimal control of a wave energy converter (WEC). This paper presents a novel maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm for control of a point absorber WEC. The algorithm and control hardware are presented in detail, as well as ocean and laboratory test results. The results show that MPPT applied to ocean wave energy is an effective and promising control strategy.