His point of view: Fish at heart; man as an island; convo port-a-potty | Opinion

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Editor’s Note: “Heard Around the West” appears monthly in the High Country News. Got a western quirk you’d like to share? Write hear@hcn.org.

What do salmon, shellfish and bees – yes, bees – have in common, other than that they don’t have much in common? Well, according to a California court, they’re all really fish at heart. In 2018, a trio of conservation and food security groups wanted to protect our pollinator friends. Unfortunately, the California Endangered Species Act, or CESA, lacks space for bees and other non-marine invertebrates. So bee advocates have resorted to some clever legalese, arguing that the CESA definition of “fish” could actually include any invertebrate – air-breathers and suckers. We could also add politicians to this list. After some back and forth in state courts, the 3rd Appellate District settled the case in late May, allowing the California Fish and Game Commission to list bees where they belong: as protected fish. And now we know how Bumblebee Tuna got its name.

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