Organotin compounds are ubiquitous contaminants in the environment. The high biological activity of some compounds toward aquatic organisms lead to deleterious impacts in aquatic ecosystems. Here, the aquatic ecotoxicology of organotins is reviewed based on a multidisciplinary approach involving environmental chemical, toxicological, and ecological aspects. Basic results were obtained both with field and laboratory studies, and some of the most important recent results and conclusions are critically reviewed. The contamination of and fate in aquatic systems is reported and linked with effects at different levels of biological organization. Major emphasis is placed on the development of a concept of ecotoxicology that encompasses not only effect assessment alone, but also integrates environmental chemistry with aquatic toxicology. Thereby, the influence of speciation for bioavailability, basic modes of toxic action, and aquatic toxicity are discussed. This case study on organotins allows to a certain extent generalizations to ecotoxicology in general.