California Court Rules That Bumblebees Are Fish. Here’s Why That’s A Good Thing.
by Matthew Gilligan
It was a big win for nature in California when the state’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled that bumble bees can be classed as an invertebrate. This means that they are now protected under the California Endangered Species Act.
Here’s how it all worked…
In May 2022, the court said that the Fish and Game Commission was allowed to list invertebrates as endangered or threatened species and, in their summation, said, “We next consider whether the Commission’s authority is limited to listing only aquatic invertebrates. We conclude the answer is, ‘no’.
“Although the term fish is colloquially and commonly understood to refer to aquatic species, the term of art employed by the Legislature in the definition of fish in section 45 is not so limited.”
This basically means that bumble bees are fish if the Fish and Game Commission says they are and this also means that bumble bees will be better protected in California.
“It is a great day for California’s bumble bees. Today’s decision confirms that California Endangered Species Act protections apply to all of our state’s imperiled native species and is critical to protecting our state’s renown biodiversity.”
This ruling overturned a decision by a lower court and means that other insects may be given similar treatment to be given more protection in California.