Ghrelin O-acyltransferase (GOAT) is the enzyme responsible for acylation of ghrelin, a gut-brain hormone with important roles in many physiological functions in vertebrates. Many aspects of GOAT remain to be elucidated, especially in fish, and particularly its anatomical distribution within the different brain areas has never been reported to date. The present study aimed to characterize the brain mapping of GOAT using RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry in a teleost, the goldfish (Carassius auratus). Results show that goat transcripts are expressed in different brain areas of the goldfish, with the highest levels in the vagal lobe. Using immunohistochemistry, we also report the presence of GOAT immunoreactive cells in different encephalic areas, including the telencephalon, some hypothalamic nuclei, pineal gland, optic tectum and cerebellum, although they are especially abundant in the hindbrain. Particularly, an important signal is observed in the vagal lobe and some fiber tracts of the brainstem, such as the medial longitudinal fasciculus, Mauthneri fasciculus, secondary gustatory tract and spinothalamic tract. Most of the forebrain areas where GOAT is detected, particularly the hypothalamic nuclei, also express the ghs-r1a ghrelin receptor and other appetite-regulating hormones (e.g., orexin and NPY), supporting the role of ghrelin as a modulator of food intake and energy balance in fish. Present results are the first report on the presence of GOAT in the brain using imaging techniques. The high presence of GOAT in the hindbrain is a novelty, and point to possible new functions for the ghrelinergic system in fish. Anat Rec, 299:748-758, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.