The Blenheim Business Association and Marlborough District Council are leading the call to encourage people to stop feeding seagulls in the town centre.
“People should not feed the gulls and take care not to leave food unattended,” said Lynette Rayner, Blenheim Business Association chair.
“This will help the situation on the ground and hopefully reduce the attraction of the CBD to the birds in the long term.”
“Over the last three years the BBA has contacted all cafes and food premises in the Blenheim CBD requesting better management of waste food. This has improved, with retailers using wheelie bins instead of rubbish bags, for example.”
“We’ve since seen a reduction in the gull population as a result of everyone’s efforts so far – we just need to keep the pressure on and try to reduce their numbers further.”
She said the BBA and Council would continue to work together and is considering a ‘Do Not Feed the Gulls’ campaign through media and social media, and signage could be installed so that both locals and visitors were aware of the issue.
The Council and BBA had also met with the Department of Conservation (DOC) because the two species – red-billed and black-billed gulls – are both protected under the Wildlife Act.
The nesting season is August to December for the red-billed gulls and October to February for the black-billed.
A number of CBD building owners have systems in place to deter the birds – such as sprinklers, lasers and spikes.