Examination of 17 samples collected by a 20 μm meshed meshed net in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, 8–19 July 1988, showed a dominance of dinoflagellates and the chrysophyte Dinobryon Balticum in the surface layers, whereas the diatom and the haptophyte Phaecystis pouchetii abundance increased with depth. The diatom Pseudo-nitzschia granii appeared together with P. pouchetii through the whole water column, and Actinocyclus curvatulus was one of the few diatoms present also in the surface samples. Two samples, from 15 and 50 m, respectively, were cleaned of organic material and mounted in Naphrax for a more critical identification of the diatoms. We were able to group the species according to habitats, especially types of ice. The planktonic Thalassiosira antarctica var. borealis, T. hyalina, T. nordenskioeldii, Bacterosira bathyomphaia, Chaetoceros furcellatus, C. socialis and Fragilariopsis oceanica were present mainly as resting stages representing a post-bloom situation. These species and T. gravida appear early in the season and may have started to grow already under the ice. Fragilariopsis cylindrus and F. oceanica seem to have a closer affinity to ice than Thalassiosira and Chaetoceros spp. although they are common in the plankton. Some Nitzschia species which are usually regarded as typical sea-ice diatoms and have thicker and older ice as the main habitat were present only in small cell numbers in the plankton samples. The last component, evidently introduced from Atlantic water in the Norwegian Sea, consisted of diatoms with a more oceanic distribution, e. g. Fragilariopsis pseudonana and a small form of Thalassiosira bioculata.