A C-band sea-ice radar (SIR) network system was operated to monitor the sea-ice conditions off the Okhotsk Sea coast of northern Hokkaido, Japan, from 1969 to 2004. The system was based on three radar stations, which were capable of continuously monitoring the sea surface as far as 60 km offshore along a 250 km long coastal section. In 2004 the SIR system was closed down and a sea surface monitoring programme was commenced using high-frequency (HF) radar; this system provides information on surface currents in open-water conditions, while areas with ‘no signal’ can be identified as sea ice. The present study compares HF radar data with SIR data to evaluate their feasibility for sea-ice remote sensing. The period of overlapping data was 1.5 months. The results show that HF radar information can be utilized for ice-edge mapping although it cannot fully compensate for the loss of the SIR system. In particular, HF radar does not provide ice concentration, ice roughness and geometrical structures or ice kinematics. The probability of ice-edge detection by HF radar was 0.9 and the correlation of the ice-edge distance between the radars was 0.7.