Edwardsiella tarda is one of the serious fish pathogens, infecting both cultured and wild fish species. Research on edwardsiellosis has revealed that E. tarda has a broad host range and geographic distribution, and contains important virulence factors that enhance bacterial survival and pathogenesis in hosts. Although recent progress in edwardsiellosis research has enabled the development of numerous, highly effective vaccine candidates, these efforts have not been translated into a commercialized vaccine. The present review aims to provide an overview of the identification, pathology, diagnosis and virulence factors of E. tarda in fish, and describe recent strategies for developing vaccines against edwardsiellosis. The hope is that this presentation will be useful not only from the standpoint of understanding the pathogenesis of E. tarda, but also from the perspective of facilitating the development of effective vaccines.