VANCOUVER -- Council approved a ban on the sale and use of bear bangers in the City of Vancouver following a sudden increase in complaints.

In a vote Thursday morning, council approved a proposed ban on the loud explosive devices meant to scare off aggressive bears, as well as on other types of exploding animal deterrents.

The motion was brought to council following complaints the devices weren't being used for their intended purposes.

In the first half of the year, about 180 complaints were made to the city's 311 line regarding sounds of explosions in the downtown core and surrounding areas.

Police say they received more than 360 similar calls.

The Vancouver Police Department also said there have been times where bear bangers have been modified for use as improvised explosive devices.

Effective immediately, anyone selling or using the devices can be fined $1,000.

Those who live in Vancouver and use them in the wilderness outside of the city can still buy them online or in nearby municipalities, the city said in a statement the day after the vote.

Council has also directed staff to conduct consultations about a possible permitting system for those who actually require the devices for work, such as trail guides or scientific researchers.