During the period 9 December 1991–4 February 1992 shipboard and aerial surveys of seals in the pack ice off the Princess Martha Coast were made. All aerial surveys were flown from the MV SA Agulhas at the edge of the fast ice opposite SANAE at 70°19′S, 02°26′W. A total of 18 1/2-nm-wide transects were flown censusing 481.3 nm2 of pack ice within which 1437 seals were counted. The species composition of the seals was 94.4% crabeater, 3.4% Ross, 1.4% leopard and 0.8% Weddell seals. The density of seals nm−2 for the early season surveys (December) in the inner pack was 1.92 for crabeater, 0.0 for leopard; 0.026 for Weddell and 0.057 for Ross seals. The density for the late season surveys throughout the pack was 4.02 for crabeater, 0.10 for leopard, 0.029 for Weddell and 0.122 for Ross seals. These data support the thesis that seal densities increase as the amount of pack ice diminishes with the advance of summer. Leopard seals were largely found near the retreating outer edge of the pack, and Weddell seals associated closely with the inshore fast ice, whilst both crabeater and Ross seals showed no statistically significant preference either for any part of the pack ice or for any particular geographical area covered during the surveys in the present study. The high densities (0.45−2.91 seals nm−2) and percentage species contribution (9.7−32.4%) of Ross seals determined by shipboard censuses in the same area during the early 1970s could not be confirmed in the present study, and it is likely that a real decrease in Ross seal numbers has taken place.