Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 205,509; Deaths 2,443: New Tragedy Reported Off Crete Today


Italy - IOM reports an estimated 205,509 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 31 May, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

IOM had recorded no fatalities in the Mediterranean since Monday, 30 May. Deaths so far this year are 2,443, compared with 1,828 during the first five months of 2015.

But reports this morning (3/6) indicate that 342 people have been rescued from a shipwreck off Crete. The vessel is believed to have left North Africa with an estimated 700 migrants on board headed for Italy. By noon CET, just four bodies had been recovered. These are the first known fatalities of migrants off the Greek coast since April. A rescue operation is taking place in international waters and both the Greek and Egyptian authorities are involved.


With attention increasingly focused on the Central Mediterranean route connecting North Africa to Italy, it is important to note the dramatic change in migrant flows occurring on the route between Turkey and Greece’s Aegean islands. Some 156,567 men, women and children arrived through 31 May (see chart below.) But just seven individuals arrived on 1st June. Earlier, Greek authorities had rescued 65 and 112 migrants and refugees off Crete, on 27th and 31st May respectively. 

During 31 days in May, IOM reports just 1,465 migrants and refugees landed in Greece by sea, which is fewer than the total arriving daily on this route in both January and February.

As the charts above and below show, there were 67,415 arrivals to Greece by sea in January; 57,066 in February; 26,971 in March – the last month before Turkey’s pact with the EU to curb migration went into effect – and 3,650 in April.

Daily totals in those months dropped, respectively, to 2,174; 1,967, 870, and 121 migrants and refugees. In May the daily average for arrivals was 47.


For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic please go to:

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at:

For further information please contact IOM Greece. Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email:  [email protected] or Kelly Namia, Tel: +302109919040, +302109912174, Email: [email protected]  or Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +903124551202, Email: [email protected] or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: [email protected] or IOM Geneva, Joel Millman, Tel: +41.22.717.9486 – Mobile: +, Email: [email protected] or Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 79 285 7123, Email: [email protected]