Masterclass Unintended consequences in fisheries management

In this masterclass we will discuss a number of unintended consequences in fisheries management and how these are often the result of predictable behavioural opportunities. The premise is that fisheries management standards could be substantially higher if ignorance is not presumed. We will discuss fisheries management options and how we may do better in avoiding these unintended consequences..

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Wed 14 November 2018 15:00 to 17:00

Venue Forum, gebouwnummer 102
Droevendaalsesteeg 2
6708 PB Wageningen
Room Room C104
To register, please send an email to

Unintended consequences: The live dragons that are being left out of the management calculations

Conventional usage of the term suggests that unintended consequences are unwelcome outcomes that are not the ones that were intended by a purposeful management action. The law of unintended consequences is in essence an idiomatic warning that an intervention in a system tends to create unanticipated and sometimes undesirable outcomes.

Social scientists have heeded the powers of the law of unintended consequences for centuries. According to French economic journalist Frédéric Bastiat, whether one pays attention to unintended consequences (taking into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen) provides a clear distinction between a bad economist and a good one.

In fisheries management the importance of considering unintended consequences seems to have been largely ignored.  There are many examples where fisheries policy and regulatory decision have resulted in a series of unintended consequences, with sometime significant environmental, social, or economic implications.