A TOTAL of 7,270 would-be migrants arrived on the shores of Spain’s Canary Islands in the month of January, which is 57 more than were received over the entire first six months of 2023.

For Spain as a whole, a total of 8,067 migrants arrived in January, which is a 524% increase on the figure for the same month a year ago, when 1,292 were received, according to the latest data from the Interior Ministry. 

The data shows how the migration route from Mauritania to the Canary Islands has been consolidated as the preferred option for the people smugglers who try to bring the would-be migrants to Spain. 

The regions in Spain which take in the highest number of boat migrants

Meanwhile, figures from the Spanish Sea Rescue show that it saved a total of 26,521 migrants from the sea in 2023, which is a 37% increase on the same figure for the previous year. 

Boats and aircraft from the service participated in 1,239 searches for rickety boats or inflatable craft being used by migrants to reach Spanish shores, daily El Pais reported. 

On Thursday alone, three such craft were rescued with 418 people on board in waters close to Tenerife and Gran Canaria. 

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