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Many recent reports suggest that the calpastatin/calpain system plays a role in cellular growth and differentiation. Defects of the calpastatin/calpain system have been linked to cellular dysfunctions, apoptosis, myocardial infarct, and dystrophies. The calpastatin/calpain system has also been implicated in post‐mortem tenderization of skeletal muscle through degradation of key myofibrillar and associated proteins, a process of key importance to meat quality. In the present study we investigate the presence and activity of the calpastatin/calpain system in trout muscle samples, collected at 0, 3, 18 and 28 h post‐mortem, by immunohistochemistry method. Calpastatin is a specific endogenous enzyme of cytosol, modulating the ubiquitous calpains. Calpastatin was found in samples obtained in vivo and immediately post‐mortem, but its concentration declined rapidly in samples obtained 3, 18 and 28 h post‐mortem. The ubiquitous m e m‐calpains, which are localized on Z line proteins and activated by intracellular Ca2+ increase, showed a rapid decline within 3 h post‐mortem. By contrast p94 calpain, which is specific to skeletal muscle, showed a slow decrease post‐mortem which was independent of intracellular Ca2+ increase. Our results suggest that the mechanism of activation and activity of the calpastatin/calpain system in trout is similar to that described in mammals.