Migrants intercepted off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea wait to disembark from a rescue boat at the port of Malaga, southern Spain, August 29, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
Spain's maritime rescue service says it has rescued 208 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea in 24 hours.
The agency said Thursday the migrants were in three boats and were picked up in the so-called Alboran Sea, an area east of the Strait of Gibraltar and one of the most common routes for crossing to Europe from North Africa.
The migrants were taken to temporary handling facilities in Spain.
Spain's Interior Ministry says that by mid-August this year the number of migrants arriving by sea was down 42.5% compared to the same period last year _ just under 14,600 compared with more than 25,300 in 2018.
The number of boats making the crossing fell from 1,054 to 542 over the same period.