California court rules a bumblebee is a fish under environmental law


28 Might 2022, Hessen, Frankfurt/Principal: A bumblebee sits on a bearded carnation in a garden. Photograph: Oliver Berg/dpa (Photograph by Oliver Berg/image alliance by using Getty Pictures)

A bumblebee is a fish under California legislation, a California courtroom explained in a ruling this 7 days.

And therefore, the bumblebee should really be guarded by the state’s endangered species ordinances, courtroom paperwork clearly show.

In the case, Almond Alliance of California v. Fish and Activity Commission, the California State Appellate Court of the Third District said the “difficulty introduced here is whether or not the bumblebee, a terrestrial invertebrate, falls in just the definition of a fish,” in accordance to lawful documents.

In accordance to the judges, the bumblebee is labeled as a fish as a liberal interpretation of the term “fish”, as properly as the state’s have legislative heritage, which include non-aquatic lifestyle. 

The judges stated that “although the expression fish is colloquially and commonly recognized to refer to aquatic species,” the legislation, as it is composed, will make the authorized “definition of fish… not so limited,” the court files show.

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The courtroom explained the “Endangered Species Act” has specified classification authority to the Fish and Video game Commission to identify what is and is not an endangered species, courtroom files show.

And, under the regulation, the commission is solely dependable for establishing “a record of endangered species and a listing of threatened species.” The court also identified the commission’s authority “was not constrained to listing only aquatic invertebrates.”


The state’s very own legislative background also supports this “liberal interpretation” to classify a non-aquatic bumblebee as a “fish” as below point out law “the Commission may record any invertebrate as an endangered or threatened species.”

Just before 1969, the law defined fish as “wild fish, mollusks, or crustaceans, which includes any section, spawn or ova thereof.” That very same 12 months, the Legislature amended a area that described fish to incorporate invertebrates and amphibia. 


This section was altered only at the time, in 2015, when the state Legislature modified the definition to read “‘[f]ish’ usually means a wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian, or element, spawn, or ovum of any of those people animals.” 

“We acknowledge the scope of the definition is ambiguous,” the judges extra, the court paperwork confirmed.

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The court in the long run ruled Choose James P. Arguelles of the Sacramento County Excellent Courtroom “erred when [he] achieved a contrary summary.”

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