A mile-long string of 29 sablefish pots was lost last month in Prince William Sound after being run over by tugs towing barges at Knight Island Passage.

"It appears that some tug boats passed back and forth across where the gear was set, and now we have no idea where it is," said Maria Wessel, a groundfish biologist at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office at Cordova.

The pots are part of an ongoing tagging study started in 2011 to track the movement of the Sound's sablefish stock. It was intended to be the third test run for the project.

"We're trying to see how well our population is mixed with the population in the wider Gulf of Alaska," Wessel explained.

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