Concentrations of cadmium, copper and zinc were measured in 34 octopuses over a large range of size and weight, caught in the Kerguelen shelf waters. Compared with levels normally encountered in European cephalopods, Cd concentrations in both species were very high: 30.7-47.1 and 27.3-54.4 wg/g dry weight in Graneledone sp. and Benthoctopus thielei, respectively; Cu concentrations were generally low while Zn concentrations exhibited similar levels. Distribution of Cd in tissues showed that the high levels of Cd in Kerguelen octopuses resulted from very high levels of the metal in the digestive gland (369 and 215 wg/g dry wt in Graneledone sp. and Benthoctopus thielei, respectively). The digestive gland accumulated about 90% of the total Cd in the whole animal. Due to the very high concentrations of Cd in the Kerguelen octopuses, we hypothesize that these species play an important role in the process of Cd transfer throughout the food chain to top vertebrate predators in this area.