Levels of essential and toxic trace elements in six marine species greatly in demand in the international market (canned pink clams, razor clams, clams, king crab, sardines, and frozen albacore tuna fish) were studied. A special laboratory adequately equipped for handling and preparing biological materials, is described. The elements As, Br, Na, Se, Hg, Cr, Fe, Zn and Rb were determined by INAA, while copper and cadmium content were determined using RNAA. Significant differences were found on comparing the contents of some toxic elements in mollusk and other samples of marine food. Various certified reference materials (CRMs) of the IAEA, NIST and NIES were analyzed for quality assurance purposes. (author) 11 refs.; 1 fig.; 1 tab.