Eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF3, which plays a central role in translation initiation, consists of five core subunits that are present in both the budding yeast and higher eukaryotes. However, higher eukaryotic eIF3 contains additional (non-core) subunits that are absent in the budding yeast. We investigated the role of one such non-core eIF3 subunit eIF3h, encoded by two distinct genes-eif3ha and eif3hb, as a regulator of embryonic development in zebrafish. Both eif3h genes are expressed during early embryogenesis, and display overlapping yet distinct and highly dynamic spatial expression patterns. Loss of function analysis using specific morpholino oligomers indicates that each isoform has specific as well as redundant functions during early development. The morphant phenotypes correlate with their spatial expression patterns, indicating that eif3h regulates development of the brain, heart, vasculature, and lateral line. These results indicate that the non-core subunits of eIF3 regulate specific developmental programs during vertebrate embryogenesis.