Stressful experiences can have detrimental effects on many aspects of health and wellbeing. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a widely used model for stress research and a stress phenotype can be induced by manipulating the environmental conditions and social interactions. In this study we have combined a zebrafish stress model with the measurement of degradation rates of soluble cardiac muscle proteins. The results showed that the greater the stress response in the zebrafish the lower the level of overall protein degradation. On comparing the rates of degradation for individual proteins it was found that four main pathways were altered in response to stress conditions with decreased degradation for proteins involved in glucose metabolism, gluconeogenesis, the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signalling pathways. Taken together, these data indicate that under stress conditions zebrafish preserve cardiac muscle proteins required for the ‘fight or flight’ response together with proteins that play a role in stress mitigation.