Spatial distributions of Cu, Pb, Cd, Ni and Zn concentrations in brown shrimps Crangon crangon (Linnaeus, 1758) collected on a cruise of FRV Walther Herwig III to the southern North Sea in January 2004, were investigated on a scale of 18 x 18 km to evaluate the range of spatial autocorrelations for the different variables under study. Semivariogram models obtained by geostatistical procedures indicated a distinct increase in variability for most variables with sampling distance. Only if samples are taken at distances above the estimated values for the practical range of the semivariogram can stochastic independence of the data be assumed. These are 6.6 km for Cd, 3.0 km for Ni and 5.2 km for Pb. Contour plots revealed a clear coincidence of high values for Cd, Ni and Pb with low shrimp mean body wet weight. Nevertheless, spatial autocorrelations were rather weak, since classical and geostatistical population estimates for the means and the 95% confidence intervals were in good agreement. The low detected concentrations of Pb in C. crangon were in good agreement with reported data for decapod crustaceans from other regions. For Zn reported values were distinctly below our 95% confidence intervals, while for Cu they were slightly above and for Cd distinctly above concentrations in C. crangon from this study. For Ni no comparative values exist. We conclude that with this integrated biomonitoring approach metal concentrations could be assessed more precisely and relations between biotic and abiotic variables could be evaluated.