News, Bumblebees can be classified as ‘fish’ under California conservation law, court says : detailed suggestions and opinions about Bumblebees can be classified as ‘fish’ under California conservation law, court says .
In a move that could allow a broad range of insects to be considered for endangered species status, the state Supreme Court has found that California bumblebees can be protected under the law as a type of fish.
The decision, which may carry deep consequences for the state’s agriculture industry, focuses on the arcane wording and complicated legal history of the California Endangered Species Act — a precursor to the federal law.
The court said late Wednesday that it would not hear arguments over whether the California Fish and Game Commission can consider granting protections to a number of bumblebee species whose populations are in steady decline. For the last three years, state almond growers, builders and pesticide companies had been arguing that bumblebees were exempt from listing because the state conservation law does not mention insects.
In writing for the court, however, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said that even though the law does not use the word “insects,” sections of the law suggest that invertebrates may be grouped under the category of fish. She also suggested that the Legislature “is in a position to make whatever statutory amendments it may regard as necessary or useful” to clarify such ambiguities in the endangered species act.