The International Organization for Migration released figures showing that over 77,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean so far in 2018. In the same period, there have been 1,723 migrants who died trying to cross the Mediterranean.
77,555 arrivals by sea between January 1 and September 17 - this figure is a marked decrease on the same period last year and the year before that. In 2017, there were 131,884 arrivals by sea between January and Mid-September, and in 2016, there were 298,663.
700 irregular migrants arrived from September 1 to 17, 2018 - an average of fewer than 32 per day. In September 2017, there was average of over 2,009 arrivals per day.
Spain top arrival country, Libya main departure country
Spain saw the largest number of migrants who arrived via the Mediterranean so far this year - a total of 33,611, or 43 percent of all irregular arrivals. Spain has thus outpaced Greece and Italy.
In Italy, 20,777 migrants have arrived by sea thus far this year according to IOM Italy - that's 79.7 percent less than in the same period last year. Arrivals in Italy in 2018 are the lowest registered by IOM since 2014.
In the first week of September 2018, irregular migrant arrivals in Greece surpassed those in Italy, for the first time since spring 2016. However, Greece has also seen significantly fewer migrant arrivals in 2018 than in the two previous years. A total of 22,153 irregular migrants have arrived in Greece by sea thus far this year.
According to IOM, Libya remains the main departure country.