Will the Minister commit to a consultation on a draft seabird conservation strategy for Wales in the first half of 2023?
I can confirm work is underway with the project team to develop a draft Welsh Seabird conservation strategy and I aim to consult on this as soon as possible in 2023.
The strategy will be an integral part of our efforts to ensure Welsh seabird populations remain resilient by setting out key actions to address the variety of pressures and threats they face, including climate change, bycatch and infectious diseases. In parallel with the development of the strategy, and addressing one of the key threats currently facing seabirds, officials have been tackling the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak. Earlier this year, Welsh Government published a mitigation strategy providing up to date advice and information, and have convened a stakeholder group, the ‘Welsh Wild birds Avian influenza Strategic Response Group’, to prepare and share best practice.