The global demand for fish is rising and projected to increase for years to come. However, there is uncertainty whether this increased demand can be met by the conventional approaches of capture fisheries and fish farming because of wild stock depletion, natural resource requirements, and environmental impact concerns. One proposed complementary solution is to manufacture the same meat directly from fish cells, as cell-based fish. More than 30 ventures are competing to commercialize cell-based meat broadly, but the field lacks a foundation of shared scientific knowledge, which threatens to delay progress. Here, we recommend taking a research-focused, more open and collaborative approach to cell-based fish meat development that targets lean fish and an unlikely but very attractive candidate for accelerating research and development, the zebrafish. Although substantial work lies ahead, cell-based meat technology could prove to be a more efficient, less resource-intensive method of producing lean fish meat.