Tripoli — AT least 16 people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in an attempt to reach Europe since the beginning of the year.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has documented the fatalities on the three main Mediterranean routes.
The Libyan Red Crescent recently recovered the remains of five people on the shores of Sirte in Libya.
IOM's Missing Migrants Project team confirmed verification of additional reports of bodies washed up on Libyan shores since January 2.
On the Western Mediterranean route, the remains of a man thought to be a migrant were discovered near Cabo de Sabinar, in Spain's southern province of Almería, on January 5.
This is the third body recovered on Spanish shores this year.
In Nador, Morocco, the remains of a woman were recovered from waters near Beni Ensar on January 11, along with six survivors suffering from severe fuel burns.
IOM's Missing Migrants Project has since the beginning of 2014, recorded the deaths of 30 602 people in the Mediterranean.
Some 2 200 migrants and refugees have meanwhile entered Europe since the beginning of this year.
Thousands of people brave drowning and human trafficking gangs in their attempts to cross to Europe in search of improved economic opportunities.