Surface marine sediments collected from 8 sampling sites within the Rovinj coastal area, Northern Adriatic, Croatia, were used for determining priority pollutant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and toxic/genotoxic potential of sediment organic extracts. Total PAH concentrations ranged from 32 microg/kg (protected area) to 13.2 mg/kg dry weight (harbor) and showed clear differences between pristine, urban industrial and harbor areas. PAHs distribution revealed their pyrogenic origin with some biogenic influence in harbor. At all sampling sites sediment extracts showed toxic potential that was consistent with the sediment type. No correlation between toxicity measured by Microtox assay and concentrations of individual or total PAHs was found. Noncytotoxic dose of sediment extracts showed no genotoxic potential in bacterial umu-test. DNA damage is positively related to total PAHs at 4 sampling sites (S-1, S-2, S-3, S-6), but the highest DNA damage was not observed at the site with the highest total sediment PAH content (S-5).