Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords will be taking time out to go fishing in the centre of London.

British Waterways has teamed up with London Docklands Angling Consortium and Thames21 to host a day out fishing in the docks for the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group of MPs on Thursday June 21st.

The event has been set up to highlight the importance of angling and demonstrate the opportunities for engaging in the sport. Parliamentarians attending include Government Minister and local MP for Poplar and Canning Town, Jim Fitzpatrick, and APPG members Martin Salter (Labour), Charles Walker (Conservative), Lord Brookeborough and Labour Deputy Leadership contender Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham.

Martin Salter MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group, said:

“Angling is one of the UK’s most popular sports and is enjoyed by 3 million people of all ages and backgrounds.  This event is a great opportunity for us to promote the sport just a stone’s throw from the Palace of Westminster and with the stunning backdrop of Canary Wharf and London’s docks. It’s fantastic that London schoolkids can learn how to fish in a clean environment in the centre of the city.”

Nationally almost six million angling visits are made to British Waterways’ canals, rivers and docks each year.  British Waterways cares for 110 acres of the West India and Millwall Dock complexes, and the fishing rights are held by the London Docks Angling Consortium.  In recent years water quality improvements in the docks have led to an increase in fish stocks, including bream, pike, carp, brown trout, rainbow trout, roach, perch and eels. The Parliamentarians will be briefed over lunch on the work of British Waterways and Thames21 to promote angling and on the restoration of the Thames as a fishery.

Charles Walker MP, Vice Chairman of the Group said:

“London’s waterways are a great success story.  At a time when the threat of environmental disaster tops the news agenda, it is reassuring to know that the Capital’s canals, rivers and docks, symbolic victims of the last industrial age, are being returned to their former glories. This recovery is a credit to British Waterways, the Environment Agency, Thames21 and all those other groups that have worked tirelessly to clean them up after a hundred years of neglect.  The waterways are now home to a huge amount of wildlife and if you are a fisherman like me there are some cracking specimens to be caught right in the shadow of Canary Wharf.  Who knows, if this fishing venue catches on it may become the next big thing in stress relief with hard-pressed investment bankers swapping their gym membership cards for a fishing licence.”

To find out more about angling on Britain’s inland waterways, visit www.waterscape.com/fishing or call British Waterways on 020 7985 7200 for a copy of its London angling guide.

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