There will be no diving this summer to explore for more artifacts from the wreckage of the Franklin ships Erebus and Terror.

The federal government has cancelled its 2021 underwater archeology program at the wreckage sites near King William Island in an effort to minimize transmission of COVID-19 to Nunavut communities, the minister responsible for Parks Canada announced on July 7.

Fred Pedersen, chair of the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee, said the decision is supported.

“It is important to minimize the risks to the communities,” Pedersen stated. “We will continue our work of advising on the management of the wrecks, as well as support the ongoing work being done to share the stories relating to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site.”

Parks Canada committed to continue its collaboration with Inuit to examine the artifacts retrieved from HMS Erebus in 2019, and advance plans for the 2022 research season.

The agency also said it would make Franklin-related content available to the public through a variety of virtual and digital formats.

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