What is yellow and black, has a sting and likes pollen? Apparently the answer to this question is fish. A California court has ruled that bees can now legally be fish under specific circumstances. This revolutionary decision is not something to be laughed at; instead, he intends to protect an irreplaceable species. The bee population in California and elsewhere has been in rapid decline for a few years now and this decision is a step towards righting a decades-old wrong. Four years ago, public interest groups in California approached the court, asking them to include four species of bumblebees on the state’s endangered animals list.
The state Fish and Game Commission upheld the listing and agreed to review the application. This has “stoked a wasp’s nest” of lawsuits.
At the first hearing of this case, a court denied Bees’ inclusion on the list.
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According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, California almond growers were very much against this inclusion.
The state produces 3 billion pounds of almonds each year, which is heavily dependent on bees pollinating up to 1.3 million acres of trees. Farmers and trade groups feared that by placing bees on the protected list, they would be forced to prevent farmers from working with bumblebees and using pesticides, which can harm bees but are necessary for the preservation of almond trees.
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A 1970 law, the California Endangered Species Act, provides special protection for endangered “birds, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, or reptiles.” The farmers argued that bees do not fall into any of these categories. The first court agreed with this reasoning.
However, the Fish and Game Commission appealed and the second time is the charm.
The commission pointed out that the legal definition of “fish” in California has been vague for some time. When California lawmakers defined fish, they didn’t exactly stick to scientific classification. They included all types of seafood including molluscs, clams, crustaceans like lobsters, etc.
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Previously, other animals were thought to be fish. In 1980, a snail got state protection, in the next four years even a shrimp and a crayfish got protection as “fish”. So why not bees?
According to the Court of Appeal, any invertebrate animal, that is to say which does not have a backbone, whether it lives on land, in the sea or in the air, can be protected as “fish “.
Now opponents plan to challenge that decision in the state Supreme Court. Will the bee remain a fish for a long time or not? We are going to ‘sea’.
(With agency contributions)
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Post expires at 11:02am on Sunday June 19th, 2022