Almost 200 people were rescued attempting to make the dangerous crossing from North Africa to Spain on Monday, the Spanish coastguard said.
The rescues come amid a debate in Spain over the role that charity boats should play in assisting government efforts after a Spanish non-governmental organization ship was at the center of a standoff with European states last month.
In the Strait of Gibraltar, 73 people were rescued from three boats, among them 10 minors, Spanish rescue services said. Another 110 people were rescued from five boats in the Alboran Sea, the majority of whom will be taken to the port of Malaga.
UN data show sea arrivals from the Middle East and North Africa to the European Union dropped from over 1 million in 2015 to some 141,500 people last year, while nearly 15,000 people are estimated to have died or gone missing in the perilous sea voyage.