The challenge comes from leaders of Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles councils who staged a major conference in Orkney this week as part of their campaign to win more powers whether Scotland votes yes or no next year.
"In tandem we keep the discussions going with the Scottish Government's ministerial working group (on islands) and the UK government on the things that might take longer," Western Isles leader Angus Campbell said.
He said a lot could be done on transport by the reinstatement of the air discount scheme for everyone on the islands, and a fairer way of charging ferry fares.
"The UK Government could do far more on the Crown Estate rather than throwing a little bit of money at individual schemes. There is a principle involved about controlling the seabed. They can do that and they should get on with it," he added.
The islands' leaders are to meet the Secretary of State Michael Moore soon and are planning to go to Westmister to speak to MPs.
On the European front John Didier Hache, executive secretary of the Islands Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, said if Scotland voted yes in the referendum, and it was subsequently deemed necessary that an independent Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU, it could be a "unique opportunity" for Scotland's islands. An accession treaty would have to be signed between Scotland and the EU that could have special status for the islands written into it, which the EU would have to respect.
However Ian Davidson the Glasgow Labour MP who chairs the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster said the islanders should not wait for the result of the independence referendum as the no vote was as good as decided.
"In my view the referendum is now settled," he said. "The decision has effectively been made by the majority of Scots. Youngsters of Aberdeen, not to mention bookmakers, have quite clearly indicated the result."
However Derek Mackay, the local government minister who chairs the group, said it was addressing all the issues raised by the islands councils and "its work will culminate with a prospectus that will be presented before the referendum, on what we believe the options to be."