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Defending Biodiversity


Imraguen Women's Mullet Botargo Presidium, Mauritania

The Imraguen ethnic group has lived along Mauritania's coast since before the great Arab migrations, and their existence is dependent on mullet fishing. This is now being threatened by industrial fleets who plunder the fish-rich Mauritanian waters, freeze their massive catches and carry them to processing operations in North Africa or Europe.


The Presidium protects the artisanal fishing techniques of the Imraguen people. Women buy the mullet from small-scale fishermen and turn it into botargo (salted and dried mullet roe), tishtar (dried and finely chopped mullet fillet) and mullet oil.


The Presidium is helping them to improve production, directly manage the sale of their products and find new markets. The project aims to strengthen the local economy by working with different stakeholders along the production chain - the women who process the fish and the men who catch it - and is seeking to develop local salt production through the creation of an artisanal saltworks. The project also uses botargo as a point of departure for a campaign for local, sustainable fishing, a sector of vital importance to millions of Africans.


  • create an experimental saltworks in Nouadhibou, involving first five and then ten producers
  • organize the training of salt producers on correct techniques and environmental protection (essential to the quality of the salt)
  • add value to the artisanal salt and promote it on the local market
  • buy a vacuum-packing machine for the fish-processing workshop in Nouakchott
  • buy two outfitted pirogues for the Nouadhibou fishermen so that they can fully join the Presidium cooperative and provide a constant supply of mullet to the Presidium producers
  • produce communication material to promote the product and its place of origin

Production Area
Nouadhibou, Nouakchott and villages along the Banc d'Arguin


244 women directly involved in the production of botargo and other fish products
50 women involved in sales
10 women currently only involved in training activities
10 fishermen directly involved in the Presidium
5 salt producers
Families of the producers (around 1,500 people)


Total estimated costs for 2012-2013


For further information








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Imraguen Women's Mullet Botargo Presidium, Mauritania
Imraguen Women's Mullet Botargo Presidium, Mauritania
Imraguen Women's Mullet Botargo Presidium, Mauritania
Imraguen Women's Mullet Botargo Presidium, Mauritania

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