||High abundances of juvenile fish in certain ports suggest they might provide alternative nursery habitats for several species. To further investigate this possibility, post-settlement growth, metal uptake and body condition were estimated in 127 juveniles of two seabream species, collected in 2014–15, inside and outside the highly polluted ports of the Bay of Toulon. This showed that differences in local pollution levels (here in Hg, Cu, Pb and Zn) are not consistently mirrored within fish flesh. Muscle metal concentrations, below sanitary thresholds for both species, were higher in ports for Cu, Pb and V only. Otherwise, fish muscle composition principally differed by species or by year. Juvenile growth and condition were equivalent at all sites. Higher prey abundance in certain ports might therefore compensate the deleterious effects of pollution, resulting in similar sizes and body conditions for departing juvenile fish than in nearby natural habitats.