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Bees Can Legally Be Fish in California

Posted by Jennifer Jackson on June 21, 2022

Bees are considered fish? As of a May 31st ruling by the California Third District Court of Appeal, insects, mollusks, and other spineless creatures falling under the umbrella term “invertebrate” are protected as “fish” under the California Endangered Species Act. The Act was designed to protect “native species or subspecies of a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, or plant,” and, according to the Act, a “fish” is defined as “a wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian, or part, spawn, or ovum of any of those animals.” The ruling means bumblebees can now be eligible for listing under the California Endangered Species Act.

“The issue presented here is whether the bumblebee, a terrestrial invertebrate, falls within the definition of fish, as that term is used in the definitions of endangered species in section 2062, threatened species in section 2067, and candidate species (i.e., species being considered for listing as endangered or threatened species) in section 2068 of the Act,” wrote California’s Third District Court of Appeal in its ruling. Read the Act here.