AbstractChina is one of the largest producers, consumers, and traders for pesticides in the world. Currently, there are more than 600 pesticide-active substances registered in China, whereas few studies were conducted to improve our understanding of the occurrence and environmental impact of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in China’s environment. In this work, 72 surface sediment samples were taken from the coastal and offshore of Bohai and Yellow seas and were analyzed for six CUPs (trifluralin, dacthal, quintozene, endosulfan, chlorpyrifos, and dicofol) and two metabolites (pentachloroanisole and endosulfan sulfate). Sediment samples were categorized as estuarine or near-shore sediments (Laizhou Bay, Taozi Bay, Sishili Bay, and Jiaozhou Bay) and offshore sediments. Trifluralin, α-endosulfan, endosulfan sulfate, chlorpyrifos, dicofol, and pentachloroanisole were detected in more than 60 % of the samples. Dicofol was the predominant compound with concentrations mostly higher than 100 pg/g dry weight (dw) with the highest concentration of 18,000 pg/g dw. Concentrations of other compounds were mainly below 100 pg/g dw. CUP levels were much lower than the sediment screening benchmark calculated. The highest levels of α-endosulfan, endosulfan sulfate, trifluralin, and chlorpyrifos existed at Laizhou Bay, whereas pentachloroanisole and dicofol had highest mean concentrations at Jiaozhou Bay. Generally, no correlation between pesticide concentrations and total organic carbon was observed either for offshore samples or for near-shore samples.