CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — It has been the scourge of Chicago area waterways for years and a threat to the Great Lakes, but the Asian Carp has a new name.
The fish formerly known as Asian Carp is now called “Copi” after a year of considering possible names.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources unveiled the new name on Wednesday. It is the latest move in an ongoing effort to rebrand the fish and change attitudes about it.
The state is renaming the fish in an effort to promote it as a fine food. It wants to get the fish onto dinner plates in restaurants all over the country and keep it out of Lake Michigan.
Officials said that the fish is actually considered a delicacy in China and other parts of the world.
The discussion around a name change began in 2014, after Minnesota’s state legislature approved a motion to have state agencies refer to the name as the “invasive carp.”
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes, more agencies worked on a name change. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service changed the name last year to “Invasive Carp.”
Asian carp is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually a group of fish: Bighead, silver, grass and black carp. The fish is from Asia, brought to the U.S. more than 50 years ago to try to clear up algae and weeds. However, the fish expanded and migrated up the Mississippi River, threatening to drown out other fish species.