Fishing boat owners banned from entering part of the North Sea by a wind farm operator do not expect to be able to return for three years.
Crab and lobster catchers in north Norfolk have agreed a compensation deal with Dong Energy, which is planning to build 91 turbines off the coast.
Boats have been excluded from the Race Bank site since February.
Dong said boats may be allowed in for two months in January and full-time when construction is finished in 2018.
Fishing boats were involved in a dispute with the Danish energy company over proposals to pay £220-a-day per boat for loss of income.
An agreement was reached over payments although neither side would reveal the size of the new offer.
Nicky King, chairman of Wells and District Inshore Fishermen’s Association, said: “However, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to go back there for another three years and, although there’s the possibility of being allowed back for a couple of months next year, we’re not hopeful because we were told that could happen this year and it hasn’t.
“Personally I feel the compensation won’t quite make up for the loss of income, but it’s impossible to quantify precisely because catches are unpredictable and weather-dependent.”
The energy firm said construction would mean the 75 sq km (29 sq miles) exclusion zone had to remain in place.
A Dong Energy spokesman said: “Where and when it is safe to do so in relation to the ongoing preparatory and construction works, some areas could be reopened for certain types of fishing activities.
“The zone may be reopened to fishing for a period of around two months starting in January.
“Although all future closure/reopening dates will remain subject to short-term alteration, Dong Energy will keep affected fishermen up-to-date via the regular issue of Notices to Fishermen.”
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