Bivalves are of major importance in aquatic ecology, aquaculture, are
widely used as sentinel species in environmental toxicology and show remarkable plasticity to molecular oxygen. Excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) arising from molecular oxygen can cause oxidative stress and this is also a consequence of exposure to many common environmental pollutants. Indices of oxidative stress have therefore found favor as biomarkers of exposure and effect in environmental toxicology. However, there is a growing body of literature on the use of discovery-led proteomics methods to detect oxidative stress in bivalves. This is because proteins absorb up to 70 % of ROS leading to complication of the proteome. This article explores the background to these developments and assesses the practice and future potential of proteomics in the study of oxidative stress in bivalves.