The aquatic birnavirus induces mitochondria-mediated cell death in fish; however, the molecular mechanism remains unknown. In the present study, we demonstrated that aquatic birnavirus-induced mitochondria-mediated cell death is regulated by the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member, zfBcl-xL, which is anti-apoptotic and enhances host cell viability. First, CHSE-214 cells carrying EGFP-zfBcl-xL fused genes were selected, established in culture, and used to examine the involvement of zfBcl-xL in host cell protection from the effects of viral infection. EGFP-zfBcl-xL was found to prevent infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV)-induced phosphatidylserine exposure up to 40% at 12 h and 24 h post-infection (p.i.), block IPNV-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), and enhance host viability at the middle and late replication stages. In addition, zfBcl-xL overexpression prevented IPNV-induced caspase-9 activation up to 25% and 85% at the middle (12 h p.i.) and late (24 h p.i.) replication stages without affecting expression of viral proteins such as VP3 (as a viral death protein) protein. In the present study, we demonstrated that aquatic birnavirus-induced cell death is prevented by the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member, zfBcl-xL, which enhances host cell viability through blockage of mitochondrial disruption and caspase-9 activation.