Migrant arrivals by sea to Spain tripled in 2017 on the previous year, fuelled by a surge in the numbers of Algerians and Moroccans, while over 200 died trying to make the crossing.
"At the end of the year, the tally is devastating," the Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR), which defends the right to asylum, said in a statement.
Almost 21,500 people arrived by sea on Spain's southern shores -- popular with northern European tourists -- between January 1 and December 20, up from 6,046 during the same period last year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The number of deaths is also up. So far this year 223 people have died or disappeared while trying to reach Spain by boat, 95 more than in 2016.