Flinging a chip at a seagull could soon land you with an £80 fine.

While there is no law against feeding seagulls,North Ayrshire Council claim they can fine residents through littering and anti-social behaviour policies already in place.

The council confirmed they would look at fining residents £80, with signs due to be erected in Irvine, Ardrossan, Millport and Arran – with the notices having already gone up in Largs.

They said the main reason behind the ‘gull problem’ is people feeding them.

A spokesman said: “They might think they are being kind, but they are not being kind. They are exacerbating a problem which can have a really negative experience for people visiting or living in our seaside towns.

“We have used social media, press and signs along the seafront to try and get the message out there that it’s unacceptable to feed the birds. Now we feel we have to take stronger action. We think this is something that will be supported by the majority of people.

“From a legal standpoint, we think feeding gulls could quite conceivably be seen as anti-social behaviour. Feeding them is actually resulting in the aggressive behaviour of gulls as they then expect to be fed and swoop down on people. We could also look at it as littering and, like anyone else caught littering, we would issue a fine.”

When the council introduced their litter, fly tipping and dog fouling strategy they adopted the educate, enable, and enforce approach.

Cabinet member for Place Cllr Jim Montgomerie said: “In terms of educating and enabling, we have done lots of this in relation to gulls. Now we feel we have to take the third of this three-pronged approach and enforce. People should be well aware that feeding gulls is irresponsible so we need to underpin this message by warning that fines could be issued.”