Some 1,000 migrants were rescued over two days by a Spanish maritime team. The group was making its way from North Africa, across the Mediterranean.
On Friday, 774 migrants were retrieved from 52 vessels while another 206 were rescued from 10 boats, on Saturday. There has been an overall decline in the number of migrants entering Europe, just 55,000 or less than half the number at this time last year. However, Spain where more than 20,000 have arrived so far, doubling 2017 arrival numbers, has experienced an increase.
"Despite incredibly low numbers arriving to Italy, the per capita death or the rate of death per 1,000 people may be at its highest point since the emergency began," International Organization for Migration spokesman Joel Millman told journalists Friday.
Migrants are increasingly using Algeria and Morocco for entering Europe since Libya has tightened its ports of entry. Earlier this week, the European Commission unveiled a plan for "regional disembarkation platforms."
More than 1.2 million migrants, many of them fleeing civil war in Syria, sectarian violence in Iraq or the Taliban in Afghanistan arrived in Europe in 2015 and 2016.
Over 1,500 people have died – for the fifth-straight year – trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, according to the United Nations.