We determined levels of mercury, cadmium, lead and selenium in muscle and liver of 29 specimens of a large pelagic fish rarely investigated, the Mediterranean spearfish Tetrapturus belone (Raf., 1810). The following element concentration ranking (mean ± S.D.; espressed in mg/kg dry weight) was recorded in muscle: Hg (3.401 ± 1.908) > Se (1.727 ± 0.232) > Pb (0.532 ± 0.322) > Cd (0.019 ± 0.015), and Se (6.577 ± 1.789) > Cd (5.815 ± 3.038) > Hg (2.698 ± 2.214) > Pb (0.661 ± 1.334) in liver. Levels of Hg, Se and Cd were compared to those reported for other Istiophoridae from oceanic areas and for other large predators of Mediterranean Sea, like swordfish and tuna. Organotropism of trace elements and their relation to size was discussed. Ecophysiological considerations regarding the Se-Hg relationship as well as Se-Cd indicate a possible detoxification mechanism. The implications for human consumption are briefly discussed.