At least 5,650 migrants were rescued Monday as they tried to reach Europe on about 40 boats, one of the highest numbers in a single day, Italy's coast guard said.
A spokeswoman said one migrant had died and a pregnant woman had been taken by helicopter to a hospital on the Italian island of Lampedusa, halfway between Sicily and the Libyan coast.
One coast guard ship rescued about 725 migrants on a single rubber boat, one of about 20 rescue operations.
Three were still underway, and the spokeswoman said the number saved could reach 6,000 by the end of the day.
About 10 ships from the coast guard, the navy and humanitarian organizations were involved in the rescues, most of which took place about 30 miles off the coast of Libya.
According to the International Organization for Migration, around 132,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the start of the year and 3,054 have died.