Nodularin (NODLN) is a hepatotoxin produced by the cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena, which occurs regularly in the Baltic Sea. The primary aim of this study was to study the transfer of NODLN to three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.), herring (Clupea harengus membras L.), and salmon (Salmo salar L.), which were caught from the northern Baltic Sea between August 2002 and August 2003. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used for NODLN analysis. NODLN was found in both herring (0-90 microgkg(-1)dw) and three-spined sticklebacks samples (2.8-700 microgkg(-1)dw). The recovery for the spiked stickleback samples in vitro was 28%. Only 1 salmon of a total of 10 contained a small amount of NODLN (10 microgkg(-1)dw). However, the high concentrations in individual stickleback suggest that possible transfer to higher trophic levels deserves more research.