PORTLAND — The Nature Conservancy has purchased a groundfish permit that will be provided to Maine fishermen with a dual goal of keeping fishermen busy and conducting research.

The Nature Conservancy is working with the Island Institute and Penobscot East Resource Center on creating Maine’s first “permit banks” in which they buy fishing permits. Then they’re given to Maine fishermen for research on fish population, fishing gear and fishing practices.

So far three permits have been purchased.

The environmental and conservation group says local fishermen will soon be working under the new permit in the Port Clyde Community Groundfish Sector.