Abstract A survey of cadmium residues in shellfish from the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina was undertaken to see the magnitude of cadmium contamination in the South Carolina Fishery. The shellfish collected were oysters, clams, crabs, shrimps, and scallops. Shellfish samples were dissected and pieces of edible muscle tissue were incubated in reagent grade nitric acid, at a constant temperature shaking-water bath at 58°C. Cadmium levels were determined by flame atomic absorption. The distribution pattern of the element Cd in shellfish is different in various species. It seems that shellfish contained more Cd content levels than other saltwater boney fish. It was found that Cd levels were relatively higher in oysters, shrimps, and clams than crabs and scallops. Larger shellfish had higher Cd content than the smaller shellfish of the same species. Elevated levels of Cd found in these shellfish species of edible fish were not high enough to render them dangerous for human consumption.