The Dutch mussel fishery in the Wadden Sea, a World Natural Heritage Site, is currently involved in a step-by-step transition from the traditional but controversial method of dredging mussel seed from natural beds using trawl nets to alternative sustainable practices. The main objectives of the transition are to allow the natural development of mussel bed ecosystems and to simultaneously achieve a large-scale sustainable mussel fishery. The transition is a joint enterprise of state officials, environmental organizations, and the mussel fishery sector and requires striking a balance among their differing interests and identities. As such, it may be considered as an example of social learning. This article explores the multiple efforts and controversies of this transition using concepts such as identities, communities and practices. We conclude that the transition endeavor is characterized by innovative new practices that have brought together two in principle contradictory identities in order to negotiate natural and social limits that might facilitate a sustainable future for the mussel fishery in the Wadden Sea.