AbstractTrace metal (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) exposures, distribution and bioaccumulation were investigated in marine organisms from Guangdong coastal regions, South China. The results showed that all of the selected metals were observed in marine organisms with a predomination of Cu and Zn. The metal exposure levels exhibited obvious variations between species with the decreasing order of crab>shellfish>shrimp>fish. The higher metals enrichment seen in shellfish and crab species primarily attributed to their living habits and the higher sediment background values of trace metals. Endpoint bioaccumulation factor (BAFfd) was used to characterize the bioaccumulation potentials of marine organisms to trace metals, of which Cu and Zn were the most accumulated elements. The exposure of trace metals in the cultured organisms was far lower than those in wild marine organisms, which is probably due to the effect of growth dilution. Comparisons with previous studies demonstrated that the concentration profiles of most trace metals declined over the last one to two decades, except Cu, that increased indistinctively.