Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV) is the type species of the Megalocytivirus genus of the Iridoviridae family. It causes a serious and potentially pandemic disease in wild and cultured fishes. ISKNV infection induces evident apoptosis in mandarin fish (Siniperca chuatsi) and zebrafish (Danio renio). However, the mechanism is still unknown. After a genome-wide bioinformatics analysis of ISKNV-encoded proteins, the ISKNV open reading frame 111L (ORF111L) shows a high similarity to the tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF) encoded by fish, mice and mammals, which is essential for apoptotic signal transduction. Moreover, ORF111L was verified to directly interact with the zebrafish TNF receptor type 1 associated death domain protein (TRADD). A recombinant plasmid containing the DNA sequence of ORF111L was constructed and microinjected into zebrafish embryos at the 1–2 cell stage to investigate its biological function in vivo. ORF111L overexpression in the embryos resulted in increased apoptosis. ORF111L-induced apoptosis was clearly associated with significant caspase 8 upregulation and activation. The knockdown of zebrafish caspase 8 expression effectively blocked the apoptosis induced by ORF111L overexpression. Significantly, ORF111L overexpression resulted in much stronger effect on caspase 8 and caspase 3 upregulation compared to zebrafish TRAF2. This is the first report of a viral protein similar to TRAF that interacts with TRADD and induces caspase 8-mediated apoptosis, which may provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of ISKNV infection.