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Copi is a fresh fish, wild-caught with nets in Midwestern waterways, making it a recommended Good Option* on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list.


Increased consumption of this fresh fish will help return diminishing native fish species to Midwestern waterways. Locally caught, Copi significantly reduces carbon emissions from river to table.

Three purple Copi Cakes topped with slivered radish, chopped chives, and diced mangos
Purple Copi Cakes prepared by Chef Peter Gebauer and served at Watson Lake Inn, Prescott, AZ (recipe here)

Eating this fresh fish

Increased consumption of Copi is good for the environment, helping to restore Midwestern riverways and lakes with the return of native species, such as Walleye, Perch, and Lake Trout. Consumption of Copi ultimately protects Great Lakes fisheries.

Environmentally friendly, wild-caught fish

Copi is a freshwater, top-feeding fish specifically known as Bighead carp, Silver carp, Grass carp, or Black carp and are fresh-caught in Midwestern waterways. In the U.S. these four different fish were generically called Asian Carp. Copi is recommended as a Good Option on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list.

Copi significantly reduces carbon emissions from waterways to table.

Hands holding a wild caught fish slider
Copi fresh fish sliders being served at Dirk’s Fish Gourmet Shop

Supporting fresh fish small businesses

Increased Copi harvest supports small, local fishers and food processors, and supports the re-growth of this traditional and uniquely Midwestern industry. The increased supply chain demand for Copi will necessitate more food processors to effectively manage Copi delivery to restaurants, fresh fish markets, retailers, and food institutions.

Local, wild-caught fish

The initiative to significantly expand the fresh fish market for Copi will support existing efforts to address food security. Broadening access to a nutrient-rich, healthy protein from local waterways will help improve public health and shorten food supply chains.

Grocery store packing of raw, local, wild-caught Copi sliders.
Fish tacos on a plate
Over 3,000 Copi tacos were enjoyed at the Illinois State Fair.

Illinois Department of Public Health

Best Choices

Alaska Pollock, BlueGill, Channel Catfish, Clams, Oysters, Cod, Copi*, Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Crappie (White and Black), Perch, Salmon, Sardines, Scallops, Shrimp, Tilapia, Trout (fresh water), Tuna (canned light)

Good Choices

Mahi Mahi (Dolphinfish), Tuna (Albacore or White), Tuna (Yellowfin)

Choices to Avoid

King Mackerel, Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish, Tuna (Bigeye)

US Food and Drug Administration

The choices above are based on mercury levels in fish and do not include information on other contaminants.

* This information is based on data gathered in Illinois. The information for all other fish listed is based on data gathered by the US Food and Drug Administration. If consuming locally caught fish, check for advisories.