A group of scientific and academic institutions is leading a researching initiative about the groundfish stocks in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank.

The federal New England Fishery Management Council is giving $800,000 to the Northeast Consortium for the project.

The consortium includes the University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. University of New Hampshire officials say the consortium will seek proposals related to the project.

University officials say they will give priority to proposals that seek to demonstrate ways to grant access to closed areas and increase catch of haddock without impacting cod, yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder.

Studies that develop ways to minimize incidental catch of flatfish through modified fishing gear are also being sought.