The effects of dietary fish oil and digestible protein (DP) levels on muscle fatty acid composition and susceptibility to lipid peroxidation were studied in two representative fish species for human nutrition, from fresh and seawater, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). In rainbow trout, higher concentrations of dietary fat and DP led to higher weight gain (g/d) (P = 0.001 and P = 0.043 respectively). Additionally, an interaction effect was observed in this species, since the effect of DP was only evident when the dietary fat concentration was low (P = 0.043). A similar tendency was also observed in European sea bass, although with less marked differences among nutritional treatments. Trout fed on diets with a higher concentration of dietary fat had higher concentrations of intramuscular total and neutral lipids in the dorsal muscle (P = 0.005). Increased levels of dietary DP led to significantly lower concentrations of polar lipids in the dorsal muscle of both rainbow trout (P = 0.005) and European sea bass (P = 0.006). In the neutral fraction of intramuscular lipids of dorsal muscle the concentration of n-3 fatty acids was positively affected by the dietary fat concentration in both rainbow trout (P = 0.04) and sea bass (P = 0.001). Muscle homogenates from trout and sea bass fed on diets rich in fish oil showed a significantly higher susceptibility to oxidation than muscle homogenates from fish fed on low-fat diets (P = 0.001). The higher DP concentration also increased susceptibility to oxidation. Moreover, in rainbow trout an interaction effect was observed where the pro-oxidant effect was of higher magnitude when the dietary concentration of both nutrients, fat and protein, was high (P = 0.004).