Based on recent studies on sea ice and newly developed technologies, this paper examines the requirements and environmental factors for exploitation of sea ice as a freshwater resource. Considering the ‘mining’ of sea ice, the suitability of locations in the Bohai Sea, China, for exploitation was analysed and evaluated using GIS technology. The ice must be >10 cm thick, the intertidal zone must be narrow and the ‘mining’ area must have a water depth of at least 2 m. The sea areas with feasible resources are located mainly in the nearshore area of northern Liaodong Bay and in a narrow and long area along the coast of Bohai Bay. Most coastal areas of northern Liaodong Bay have favourable conditions, while Bohai Bay is widely constrained by unsuitable conditions. According to the status of the resources and the coastal environment conditions, the eastern and western coasts of northern Liaodong Bay are the most suitable areas for exploitation at the current technological level.