Heavy metals are dangerous to aquatic organisms and it can be bioaccumulated in the food chain leading to diseases in human. Cumulative effects of metals or chronic poisoning may occur as a result of long-term exposure even to low concentrations. The accumulation of heavy metals varies depending upon the species, environmental conditions, and inhibitory processes. Concentrations of zinc, copper, lead, and cadmium were determined in finfish and shellfish species in the Gangetic delta using a PerkinElmer Sciex ELAN 5000 ICP mass spectrometer and expressed as milligrams per kilogram of dry weight. In finfish and shellfish species the concentrations of Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cd were comparatively higher at stations 1 and 2 than the permissible level of WHO. The concentration of metals exhibited significant spatial variation and followed the order station 1 > station 2 > station 3 > station 4, which may be related to different degree of contamination in different location. The metal accumulation exhibited species specificity. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011.