Vibrio parahaemolyticus was observed to adsorb onto chitin particles and copepods. The efficiency of adsorption was found to be dependent on pH and on the concentration of NaC1 and other ions found in seawater. Highest efficiency was observed in water samples collected from Chesapeake Bay and lowest in water from the open sea. V. parahaemolyticus was found to adborb onto chitin with the highest efficiency of the several bacterial strains tested. Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas fluorescens did not adsorb onto chitin. The adsorption effect is considered to be one of the major factors determining the distribution of this species and affecting the annual cycle of V. parahaemolyticus in the estuarine system.