Progress in marine chemistry has been driven by improved sampling and sample handling techniques, and developments in analytical chemistry. Consequently, during the last 20 years our understanding of marine trace metal biogeochemistry has improved a great deal. Stripping voltammetric techniques (anodic stripping voltammetry and adsorptive cathodic stripping voltammetry) have made an important contribution to this understanding. The selectivity and extremely low detection limits have made stripping voltammetry a widely used technique for trace metal speciation and trace metal distribution measurements in seawater. Stripping voltammetry is very suitable for ship-board and in-situ applications because of the portability, low cost and capability for automation of the voltammetric instrumentation. Future developments in stripping voltammetry can be expected in the field of stand-alone submersible voltammetric analysers, capable of continuous trace metal measurements. Future applications of stripping voltammetry can be found in the interactions between trace metal speciation and growth and the functioning of organisms in pristine and metal polluted marine waters.