A record number of illegal crossings from northwest Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands took place in October, the European coastguard and border agency Frontex said in a statement sent to AFP on Wednesday.
Warsaw-based Frontex recorded 13,006 people attempting illegal crossings in October alone from Morocco to the Canaries, part of the maritime route for migrants leaving West Africa.
The October number is almost as many as since the beginning of the year and is the highest monthly figure for crossings detected on this route since 2009, when Frontex began collecting this data.
The statistics are part of a general trend in Europe, which has seen the highest number of illegal entry attempts since 2015, according to Frontex.
The number of people trying to reach the Italian coast and the island of Lampedusa was less in October 2023 than the previous year, but it remains the most frequented route of 2023, with 143,613 attempted crossings recorded.
It is also the deadliest route, claiming 2,187 lives this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.