First discovered for their role in mediating programmed cell death and inflammatory responses, caspases have now emerged as crucial regulators of other cellular and physiological processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and survival. In the developing nervous system, for instance, the non-apoptotic functions of caspases have been shown to play critical roles in the formation of neuronal circuits by regulating axon outgrowth, guidance and pruning. How caspase activity is spatially and temporally maintained at sub-lethal levels within cells remains however poorly understood, especially in vivo. Thanks to its transparency and accessibility, the zebrafish offers the unique ability to directly visualize caspase activation in vivo. Yet, detailed information about the caspase family in zebrafish is lacking. Here, we report the identification and characterization of 19 different caspase genes in zebrafish, and show that caspases have diverse expression profiles from cleavage to larval stages, suggesting highly specialized and/or redundant functions during embryonic development.