Rescued migrants desembark from the Mare Jonio rescue ship of the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans as it docked at the port of the Italian island of Lampedusa, southern Italy, Friday, May 10, 2019. According to Mediterranea Saving Humans, some 30 migrants, including two pregnant women and a small child, were rescued a day earlier off the Libyan coast. (Elio Desiderio/ANSA via AP)

VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — The Latest on European migration issues (all times local):

6 p.m.

The European Union's border agency says the number of migrants entering the bloc without authorization continues to drop.

Frontex said Tuesday that it spotted 4,900 "illegal border crossings" in April, a fall of 19% over the previous month.

In all, about 24,200 crossings were detected in the first four months of 2019, 27% down from in 2018.

More than half the unauthorized migrants were detected on Europe's eastern borders. One in four were Afghans, while one in five were citizens of Turkey, a candidate for EU membership.

Just over 200 people crossed the central Mediterranean, once Europe's busiest migrant route.

The EU was plunged into a political crisis in 2015 over how to handle migrant arrivals. Surveys say migration is a key issue in the May 23-26 EU elections.

___

1:40 p.m.

A Maltese court has fined the captain of the German humanitarian ship that rescued more than 200 migrants because it entered the Mediterranean island nation's waters last year with a ship that was not properly registered.

Though the court opted Tuesday against jailing the captain, Claus-Peter Reisch, due to the humanitarian backdrop, it did impose a fine of 10,000 euros ($11,300).

Reisch has eight days to decide whether to appeal the fine.

The court also denied a prosecution motion to confiscate the vessel.

The Lifeline has been in a Maltese port since last June, and will be free to leave once any appeal is settled.

Malta agreed to give it safe harbor following a six-day standoff, but only after Italy and other EU nations agreed to take in the migrants.

FILE - In this June 27, 2018 file photo, the ship operated by German aid group Mission Lifeline, carrying 234 migrants, arrives at the Valletta port in Malta, after a journey of nearly a week while awaiting permission to make landfall. A Maltese court  on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 fined Claus-Peter Reisch, the captain of the German humanitarian ship that had rescued more than 200 migrants off Libya entering Maltese waters last year with a ship that was not properly registered. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)