More than 1,000 migrants picked up off the coast of Libya Sunday have arrived at a port on the Italian island of Sicily.
A German navy ship brought the rescued migrants to the port of Catania Monday aboard the FGS Rhein.
Some 29,000 migrants, most of them fleeing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, have arrived in Italy this year after being rescued by European military ships or private charity organizations.
The U.N. migration agency (IOM) reported last week that 31,993 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through April 9, with over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece.
This is considerably lower compared to 172,774 through the first 97 days of 2016. The number of deaths recorded, however, is almost the same for both years.
The numbers of newcomers are expected to rise during the spring's months of good weather.