Three experiments were designed to assess the accumulation and acute toxicity of copper (Cu) in juvenile fat snook Centropomus parallelus. The first experiment was performed to determine the 96-h lethal concentration (LC50) of Cu. The second experiment was designed to assess the effects of sublethal concentrations of Cu (0.47 and 0.94 mg/L), while the third one allowed us to test the recovery capacity of fish exposed to the sublethal concentrations Cu and kept in sea water without Cu addition. The LC50value for Cu was found to be 1.88 mg/L Cu. Fish exposed to the sublethal concentrations of Cu showed a significant accumulation of Cu in gills at 96 h respect to the control ones (0.43 µg/g Cu). No significant difference was observed in the accumulation of Cu in gills between fish exposed to 0.47 mg/L (1.09 µg/g Cu) and 0.94 mg/L (1.26 µg/g Cu). Exposure (24 and 96 h) to the sublethal concentrations of Cu tested induced DNA damage in the erythrocytes. The results show that acute exposure to sublethal concentrations induces Cu accumulation and DNA damage in fish, these effects being recovered after 240 h in sea water without Cu addition.