The need to use biomonitors representative of the sedimentary compartment has been recognized, particularly in estuaries. Thus, trace metal contamination has been monitored in an infaunal polychaete worm Nereis diversicolor and sediments in the Seine estuary and comparatively in the relatively clean Authie estuary (French coast of the English Channel) over two years taking samples every three months at both sites. No correlations were shown between total metal (Ag, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) concentrations in raw sediments and ragworms. Because these worms are known to be good biomonitors of the bioavailabilities of sedimentary trace metals, it follows that total sediment metal concentrations have a poor predictive ecotoxicological value. Using a correction factor to minimize the influence of weight, it is possible to make a good estimation of the average metal concentrations in a population of worms at a given site, sampling only a limited number of specimens. Metallothioneins are often considered to be good biomarkers of the presence of significant availabilities of trace metals. Metallothionein-like proteins (MTLPs) are present in N. diversicolor, but there is no significant relationship between MTLPs and metal concentrations. This situation might result from the importance of metal-containing granules, both extra- and intracellular, in ragworms.