Can bees become fish in California? To understand

In a move that could allow a wide range of insects to be considered endangered species in California, the state Supreme Court has ruled that bees can be protected by law as a type of … fish. Yes, that’s what you read.

Can bees become fish in California Understand
The Supreme Court of California decides that four species of bees can be considered as “fish” to enter the list of animals protected from extinction. Image: Matchou –

According Los Angeles Times (LAT), The ruling, which could have profound implications for the state’s agricultural industry, centers on the archaic wording and complicated history of California’s endangered species law, a precursor to federal law.

On Wednesday (21), the court said there was no appeal regarding the granting of protection to a number of bee species, whose populations are in steady decline.

For the past three years, almond growers, builders and pesticide companies in the state of California have argued that bees would be exempt from the list because the state’s conservation law does not mention the insects.

However, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye told the court in writing that although the law does not use the word “insects”, sections of the law suggest that invertebrates can be grouped under the category of fish.

She also suggested that the Legislative Assembly “be able to make any legislative changes it deems necessary or expedient” to clarify these ambiguities in the Endangered Species Act.

Protectors celebrate decision

The decision was welcomed by conservation groups. “We are relieved by the California Supreme Court’s decision,” said Sarina Jepsen, director of endangered species at the Xerxes Invertebrate Conservation Society. “Now some of the most threatened pollinators can be saved from extinction. »

See Also:  Jaeger-LeCoultre opens a boutique on Rodeo Drive in California

According to the LAT publication, the dispute arose after a coalition of conservation groups led by the Xerces Society, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Food Safety filed a petition in 2018 to protect four species of bees.

The California Fish and Game Commission voted to start the listing process, but several agriculture and pesticide industry interests — including the California Almond Alliance, California Association of Pest Control Advisors and California Construction — challenged its decision. .

They feared the four-species list would open the door to one of the more than 1,000 species of bees native to California, as well as countless other insects.

1663964408 685 Can bees become fish in California Understand1663964408 685 Can bees become fish in California Understand
Beekeepers and conservationists celebrated the California Supreme Court’s decision to protect bees. Image: Felix Busse –

The agriculture industry has complained that some of the native bees being considered for listing by the commission overlap with significant areas of the sector where planting, cultivation and harvesting activities could expose farmers and their workers to liability if protected bees are killed.

In court documents, the California Building Industry Association suggested that defining land invertebrates as fish could “effectively make a criminal anyone who has ever squashed a fly, squashed an ant, or eaten an aphid hidden in their broccoli without a ‘permit.’ of fishing”. .

Other groups have also complained that listed threatened species include native species of “birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles or plants” but exclude invertebrates such as bees.

The commission, however, argued that a separate section of the state’s Fish and Game Code defines fish as including “wild fish, molluscs, crustaceans, invertebrates, or amphibians.”

In late 2021, the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic intervened on behalf of the petitioners, who appealed. In May of this year, the ruling was overturned by an opinion from the California 3rd District Court of Appeals, which found that the state legislature defined the term “fish” as “wild fish, mollusk, crustacean , invertebrate, amphibian or part, spawn or egg of any of these animals.

Therefore, the definition of “fish” in the Endangered Species Act is a term that goes beyond the commonly understood meaning of the word.

Have you watched the new videos on Youtube digital look? Subscribe to the channel!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.