The UN's Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that 61,517 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea in 2018 through August 12. The figure shows a large drop compared to the 118,436 arrivals in the region in the same period last year, and to the 265,640 of 2016.
Registered deaths at sea in the same period totaled 1,524. IOM said that no new victims have been registered on the Mediterranean routes since last week.
Spain continues to surpass other destinations
IOM said arrivals to Spain this year continue to surpass all other destinations, with 2,170 through less than two weeks of August, or nearly the entire volume (2,476) to Spain through this date in all of 2016. By contrast, arrivals to Italy - 19,231 through 12 August of this year - are lower than arrivals recorded during certain individual months in the years 2015-2017.
IOM Rome's Flavio Di Giacomo said Italy arrivals for 2018 presently are running at under 20% of 2017's volume and a slightly smaller proportion of arrivals in 2016, when some 101,587 irregular migrants entered Italy by sea.
Over 230 arrivals per day to Spain since May 31
IOM Spain's Ana Dodevska said total arrivals by sea in 2018 have reached 25,101 men, women and children, who were rescued in the waters of the western Mediterranean through 12 August. During the first five months of the year, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after having left Africa - an average of 54 per day.
In the 73 days since May 31, a total of 16,484 have arrived - or just over 230 migrants per day. IOM's migration data center in Berlin on Monday reported that over the last two decades sea arrivals of some 95,000 irregular migrants have entered Spain via the Western Mediterranean, nearly half that total arriving just since the start of 2017.