Regional aquaculture associations were originally formed in 1976 through legislative action prompted by Alaskan fishermen who lobbied for the exclusion of private enterprise from salmon fisheries development and enhancement (and the creation of the nonprofit hatchery associations—both the regional aquaculture association for each area, as well as other private nonprofit, or PNP, organizations). The ultimate goal was to give Alaskans a voice in salmon fishery enhancement decisions and a hand in actions, such as rehabilitation of weak salmon stocks or supplemental salmon production, research and educational outreach, and habitat protection and improvement.
The Kodiak Regional Aquaculture Association (KRAA) was officially approved by the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 1983, and it has been enhancing and rehabilitating salmon runs in the Kodiak area for over 30 years. The Association is governed by a fifteen-member board of directors comprised of area salmon permit holders representing each gear group as well as processing, marketing, sport fishing and other interests. During its formative first decade, KRAA achieved much through lake enrichment projects, and, by 1994, supplemental sockeye production from stocking barren lakes reached significant levels. Since then, KRAA’s contribution to the Kodiak Area salmon harvest has continued to expand.
Currently, KRAA is primarily funded through two avenues: cost-recovery fishery licensing revenues and a two percent salmon enhancement tax (SET) on first point-of-sale commercial salmon fisheries harvest revenues. The SET is initially paid to the State of Alaska by Area K salmon permit holders. The tax is calculated from gross revenue at the time of delivery and is held in the State of Alaska General Fund until the time of disbursement each year. SET revenues generated in Area K are disbursed annually to KRAA by the state Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.