"Law professors say much of the buzz around a California court’s finding that bees meet the definition of fish missed the mark, and that the decision isn’t as unusual as it seems.
The California Court of Appeal, Third District said that the California Fish and Game Commission can list bees as threatened or endangered under the state Endangered Species Act. That’s because the bumble bee, which is a terrestrial invertebrate, falls under the definition of fish under the act, the court said May 31.
“Fish, as a term of art, is not limited solely to aquatic species,” Justice Ronald B. Robie wrote for the three-judge panel. He was joined by Justices Cole Blease and Andrea Lynn Hoch.
Their unanimous ruling handed a perhaps stinging defeat to the Almond Alliance of California and other agricultural groups that sued to block the commission from listing the Crotch, Franklin’s, Western, and Suckley’s cuckoo bumblebees as endangered, potentially leading to pesticide restrictions and other habitat protections."