Histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) has been reported to be important for multiple aspects of normal embryonic development, but little is known about its function in the development of mechanosensory organs. Here, we first confirmed that HDAC1 is expressed in the developing otic vesicles of zebrafish by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Knockdown of HDAC1 using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides in zebrafish embryos induced smaller otic vesicles, abnormal otoliths, malformed or absent semicircular canals, and fewer sensory hair cells. HDAC1 loss of function also caused attenuated expression of a subset of key genes required for otic vesicle formation during development. Morpholino-mediated knockdown of HDAC1 resulted in decreased expression of members of the Fgf family in the otic vesicles, suggesting that HDAC1 is involved in the development of the inner ear through regulation of Fgf signaling pathways. Taken together, our results indicate that HDAC1 plays an important role in otic vesicle formation.