The Libyan coastguard has told Sky News that the EU's Operation Sophia, which was devised to prevent people smuggling, is actually encouraging illegal migrants to make the perilous journey to Europe.
Libya has become one of the main routes to the continent following a controversial EU deal with Turkey to close down the crossing to Greece across the Aegean Sea .
Under international law Europe's naval vessels cannot enter Libyan waters; instead they must stay at least 12 nautical miles from the shore.
It means smugglers can take advantage by dragging boats out to sea and then setting their course for international waters - and providing they do not stray from Libyan waters they face no chance of getting caught.
If they then get into trouble the migrants and the smugglers believe they will be saved - and often they are with more than 13,000 migrants rescued so far.
The coastguard's head of operations, Colonel Tawfik Alskir, said: "People, when they get rescued, call their friends to tell them that there are EU vessels only 20 miles from Libyan waters to save them."
This, he adds, acts as an incentive for others to risk the journey.
He also says that the migration crisis is getting worse and by the end of the year a record number of illegal migrants will have made their way across the Mediterranean to Europe.
Part of the problem is that Libya simply does not have the resources it needs to cope.
In the Misrata area there are only two boats that are operational to police the coastline. The others have been redeployed to fight Islamic State.
It means that there will also be more tragedies, like the one off the coast of Zuwarah , which saw more 100 bodies wash up on the shore.
But the fact that the migrant ships keep sinking is no deterrent.
Haroon has heard the statistics that one in 23 now die en route, but he tells me he is not afraid and the journey is worth the risk.
In Europe he says he can make lots of money for his family back in Niger.
That the streets of Europe are paved with gold is a familiar story on the migrant trail.
In Libya's cities people from all over sub-Saharan Africa wait by the side of the road looking for work to earn money to pay the smugglers - about £600 is enough.
It seems there are no solutions to this crisis. By the end of the year more migrants will have made the journey to Europe and more, too, will have been claimed by the sea.