Illinois officials change the name of invasive carp species in hopes that people will eat them

If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em. That seems to be the thinking at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which has been struggling with an invasive carp problem for years. Beleaguered officials there hope that giving the fish a new name — copi — will trick people into getting hungry for the sucker-mouthed beasts, reducing their population to a manageable level. The department has even created copi recipes to persuade restaurants to serve mouth-watering dishes such as "copi fresh fish tacos, a copi firehouse fish burger, and copi smoked fish dip." Yum!

From Smithsonian Magazine:

"The 'carp' name is so harsh that people won't even try it," Kevin Irons, assistant fisheries chief for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, tells the Associated Press' John Flesher. "But it's healthy, clean and it really tastes pretty darn good."

In addition to giving the fish a new name, the project brings together more than 30 restaurants, distributors, processors and retailers from across Illinois, Tennessee, Arizona, and Washington D.C., all working together to get copi on more plates. The project's website even suggests recipes provided by participating restaurants, including copi fresh fish tacos, a copi firehouse fish burger and copi smoked fish dip. Funding for the project— $600,000 over five years—comes from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a group of federal agencies working to protect the Great Lakes, the largest system of fresh surface water in the world.