Migrant Arrivals on Mediterranean Reach 266,026; Deaths at Sea: 3,156

Italy - IOM reports that 266,026 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 17 August, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, where 101,507 migrants or refugees have arrived during 2016.

This total is slightly lower than the pace recorded through 2015’s first eight months, when a total of 354,618 arrivals were recorded crossing the Mediterranean, the majority from Turkey to Greece.

IOM Rome reported on Thursday that some 730 migrants had been rescued in the Channel of Sicily since August 10, or about 100 per day.

While the overall number of arrivals has declined – especially to Greece – IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports that fatalities in the Mediterranean already have surpassed the total for the first eight months of 2015.

The project reports that as of Wednesday, 3,156 migrants and refugees have died – over 800 more than were recorded through the same period last year. The project recorded 2,333 fatalities between 1 January and 18 August, 2015.

“In Libya in recent days three bodies washed ashore in Subratah. One more – a woman – washed ashore at Az-Zawiyah, according to the Libyan Coastguard,” said Julia Black of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin, which manages the Missing Migrants Project.

Black called the frequency of bodies washing up to Libya “alarming.” “This year alone 333 bodies have been found on Libyan shores, arriving on 13 different occasions. Only two incidents were associated with earlier shipwrecks off the coast. That means 196 bodies in 11 incidents were likely from shipwrecks that no one had previously reported. Bodies often wash up in small numbers, so they don’t make the news. This really adds up over time and indicates that more people may be dying in the Mediterranean than we hear about.”

IOM Greece reports this week that since March 2016 monthly arrivals at the Greek islands have dropped over 85 percent from the first three months of the year.  Nonetheless, in recent weeks, a gradual increase has been evident in the number of daily arrivals.

The average number of daily arrivals in June 2016 was around 50, climbing to 64 per day in July. This average has now increased to approximately 95 daily during the period 1-18 August. This week 147 arrivals were registered on 16 August and 132 on 17 August.

Currently, IOM estimates that some 10,000 migrants and refugees remain on various Greek islands, with roughly 4,500 on the island of Lesvos, 3,000 on Chios and about 1,400 on of Samos.

IOM Bulgaria on 13 August reported a total of 1,289 migrants have arrived by land from Turkey since 1 August 2016. That is slightly more than the 1,252 migrants who arrived in Greece during the same period. By comparison, Italy has received 7,259 migrants since 1 August.

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

For further information please contact:
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email:
Julia Black, Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +903124551202, Email:
Amr Taha at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202-27365140, Email:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41.79.103-8720, Email:
IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel +216 29 600389, Email: or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216297 94707, Email: