A London Angling Action Group has been formed to encourage Londoners to get fishing again and to take advantage of cleaner and better stocked waterways.

The well-attended action group launch saw 44 movers-and-shakers of angling in London come together, including representatives from the Angling Trust, Environment Agency, Thames21, the London Wildlife Trusts, borough councils, schools and angling clubs, along with fishery managers, angling coaches and other stakeholders in the capital, to address the long dwindling take up of the once popular sport.
The meeting, held at Fishmongers’ Hall at the end of September, was organised and chaired by Grant Fear, London’s Angling Development Officer, in a project funded by the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and Thames21. Speakers included former MP Martin Salter and Angling Trust Campaigns Coordinator; Clive Copeland, Angling Trust National Development Manager and Lawrence Talks, Environment Agency Fisheries Manager, who addressed the priorities for getting London angling, how they might be delivered, the recognised benefits of the sport and the advantages of an action group.
Open discussion ranged from opportunities to get youngsters fishing, the need to provide up to date information of where to fish, the development of angling coaching, the role of anglers in enhancing London’s waterways and revitalising fishing clubs across the capital.  
London’s Angling Development Officer Grant Fear said: “I was delighted both with the size of the turnout, and the positivity of those who contributed. There is great scope for Londoners of all ages and abilities to enjoy the fishing offered by London’s canals, rivers, ponds and disused docks. Anybody that wishes to contribute to the group, find out more about angling or wants to get involved in their area, should contact Grant at grant.fear@thames21.org.uk
Other quotes:
Lawrence Talks Fisheries Manager with the Environment Agency said: “There was a real buzz about the first ever London Angling Action Group meeting, which was fantastic to see.  Angling has so much to offer from providing a really positive activity for youngsters to getting people outdoors and enjoying London’s many waterways. Together we can make a real difference.”  
Martin Salter Trust said:“There is some great fishing to be had in London and opportunities to open up even more. By coming together London’s anglers will create a strong voice for our sport in the capital and help secure its future for the next generation.”
Clive Copeland from the Angling Trust said:“It was great to see so many people come together to support the future of Angling in London – a really positive beginning.” 

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