TheTagant Plateau supports a significant population of pastoralists (Tamourt en Naaj means "the hollow with sheep pasture") and farmers. Some pastoral nomads, remain and these move around the region with their camels, goats and sheep according to the availability of pasture and water. There are also various centres of population whose people farm the fertile lake margins of N'Beika, Mershra, Tintane and others, or in the shelter of dams contructed to retain water.
The large palm groves dedicated to date cultivation and fishing in the lakes and pools (where the catfish Clarias anguillaris is caught) complete the traditional land uses of the region. The most accessible pools, especially Matmata, are visited by tourist groups keen to see the desert crocodiles. As in much of Mauritania, the region is becoming depopulated as people move to the large coastal cities. Only 60,000 people remain of the 300,000 which inhabited the region 30 years ago.