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Environment and Land Use Chair Paul Weiland Quoted In Bloomberg On California Bees Being Classed As Fish For Endangered Species Listing

06/12/2019 Bloomberg

Paul Weiland was recently quoted in the Bloomberg article, “Are Bees Fish? The Courts May Have to Decide in California.”  The article discusses how the California Fish and Game Commission is considering listing four species of bumblebees as endangered, and how the debate may lead to a perplexing question:  Are bees legally the same as fish? 

This situation is a result of a California state law that includes invertebrates in its fish definition.  Supporters of the "bee as fish" definition have cited a letter of agreement from a Stanford Law School clinic (which was drafted by a law student), while opponents argue that the definition is not as broad, and point to a 1998 ruling from the state Attorney General’s office saying protections “apply to birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and plants.” 

Commenting on this matter, Mr. Weiland said, “What’s being represented today is a bumblebee is a fish… by no stretch of the imagination can anyone think the legislature was thinking about anything other than aquatic [invertebrates].”  While the bees are being considered for listing as an endangered species, they are protected by the law, which prohibits harming, interfering with, or killing them.  Regarding the uncertainty this can lead to for many industries in California, Mr. Weiland added that “people would rather be in a situation where there wasn’t that ambiguity.” 

For the full article, click here.

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