OCEAN CITY, NJ (WTXF) - The next time you're on the beach, you might want to think twice before offering a seagull some food.
One Jersey Shore town is cracking down, and banning beach-goers from feeding the birds.
FOX 29's Bill Anderson reported live in our newsroom to explain the fines you could face.
On the surface going to jail for feeding seagulls sounds a little over the top but that's the possible penalty in Ocean City, New Jersey. The seagulls have become enough of a nuisance that the administration decided severe penalties were necessary.
If you head to the beach, especially near restaurants you can expect to see seagulls and occasionally people feeding them but Ocean City, New Jersey is among the cities that have had enough.
This week, the Mayor sent out a message saying that police would no longer look the other way, and would strictly enforce the ban on feeding seagulls with penalties up to $500 or 90 days in jail.
To outsiders the crackdown may seem excessive but to people on the boardwalk, it's about time.
The administration told FOX 29 they are serious about the crackdown but they also wanted to make it clear that this is about changing behavior and not about hitting people with large fines or jail time.
Approximately every 10 minutes, a recorded message warning of the ban was broadcast on the boardwalk and emails went out to residents.
The point to educate and stop people from feeding the seagulls, but for those that ignore the message it could be a painful lesson.