This article explores the tensions between aid funding and grassroots development goals in the context of post-disaster fisheries reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia. We argue that both short- and long-term grassroots goals are distorted by upward accountability requirements which lead to unsatisfactory aid outcomes. Our analysis employs the concept of aid webs and draws on fifty-one formal interviews with stakeholders in Aceh in 2007/2008. The findings initially concentrate on the impacts of upward accountability on project cycles, with a particular focus on the problematic incorporation of private boat-building contractors and commercial values during the implementation phase. We then discuss the more subtle, long-term impacts of upward accountability on the professionalization of community institutions — in this case, the Panglima Laot Lhok. We conclude with a few observations about the hybrid institutions — combining elements of local and development cultures — that are produced within the current political economy of aid.