The UN Migration Agency, International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 17,461 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 105 days of 2018, with about 43 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (36%) Spain (20%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).
This compares with 37,046 at this point in 2017, and over 175,000 at this point in 2016.
The 7,495 migrants arriving in Italy by sea this year represents a 75 per cent drop from this time last year, when over 30,000 migrants had arrived during the same period.
Halfway through the month of April – traditionally early in the busiest season on the Mediterranean’s Central route – traffic is down to less than 100 per day.
559 deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea routes so far this year compares with 918 at this time in 2017, a decline of about 40 per cent year-on-year.