Only 1,318 people reached the Canary Islands by boat over the first six months of 2009. This low number contrasts with the record number of 31,678 who reached the Canary Islands on approximately 600 boats in 2006 and 9,181 migrants who arrived in 2008.
“The Spanish government credits the decline on increased maritime surveillance and agreements with several African nations that allows it to send migrants back.”
“Under the EU’s Frontex programme, Spain’s Civil Guard police patrol the waters off West Africa, in partnership with the authorities from Senegal and Mauritania. In the first six months of 2009, these patrols diverted 762 migrants back to their points of departure. Additionally, a single, satellite communications network, called Sea Horse, pools information between the two continents.”