April 24 - 2000: Truro radar bails out Logan

2006: Lobster buoys and whale entanglement
The radar at the former Air Force Station in North Truro was called into service when the radar at Logan was knocked out. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

2000: Truro radar was called into service when Logan radar was knocked out

Winds knocked out Logan's central antenna.

On this day in 2000, the radar facility next to the Highland Golf Course in Truro bailed out Boston's Logan Airport when their radar went on the fritz.  The story in the newspapers that day stated:

Delays at Boston Airport; Antenna Is Knocked Out

Controllers at Logan International Airport guided arriving planes today using a composite radar system from three regional airports, a day after winds knocked out Logan's central antenna.

Delays and cancellations at Logan, the country's ninth-busiest airport, were felt nationwide over the Easter weekend, a busy travel time as families gather for celebrations and students return from spring break. ''I wish it was happening last weekend, or next weekend. But there's really no ideal time,'' said Bart Bartanowicz, New England regional administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration...

Until the new radar is ready, Logan is using a triangular composite system of radar from Truro, on Cape Cod...  NY Times.

2006: And how about the problems they have with whales?

The effects of lobster buoys on these gentle giants

On this day in 2006 the American Lobster, Americanus homarus, could still be found from Cape Hatteras, NC to Newfoundland, but is most abundant in the Gulf of Maine, from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia. It is in this area where it is most heavily targeted by commercial fisheries. And no wonder, according to a recent New York Times article, the retail price has doubled since last spring, now about $15 for a one lb lobster.

For the millions of tourists that visit New England each year, the sweet taste of a New England lobster is worth the price. However, few of those shelling out their hard earned dollars to crack into the shell of this delicacy realize the conflict between lobsters and whales.

The colorful buoys that dot the surface of the waters up and down the coast of the Gulf of Maine, marking the locations of the traps beneath are the snapshots we see on a postcard; the muse for local artists; or an iconic symbol of New England. Yet it is what we don’t see beneath the surface that is the source of conflict between managers, conservationists and fishermen, and, sometimes, the source of death to endangered whales.

Fishermen are not trying to catch whales, it happens incidentally. The lines that connect the traps below the surface can float as much as 25-30 feet above the sea bed. The line to which the colorful buoy is attached can run hundreds of feet down to the bottom. 

It is these lines in which whales will sometimes get ensnared. No one knows why whales don’t seem able to detect the lines- maybe there are just too many in one area, or maybe whales are just too busy feeding and become oblivious. But what is known is that when whales and line interact, it can be lethal to the whale.

As the whale becomes entangled it appears to roll further into the gear, causing a tight wrap. While some whales do shed the gear on their own, others carry it with them for years. The line can become imbedded in the skin or worse, cut through bone. This can result in a painful and slow death as they may be unable to feed or swim properly, or their wounds become hopelessly infected...  

Read the rest of this Whales.org release here.

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