With just five weeks to go until the UK finally leaves the EU, Northern Ireland's fishing industry is still seeking clarity on how it will operate from January 1.
Taking back control of UK fisheries was at the core of the Brexit debate, and was one of the reasons fishing towns and villages all over the UK voted to leave the EU.
Control of fishing remains at the heart of the tense UK-EU trade negotiations still under way in London.
Fishing rights remain an "outstanding major bone of contention" in post-Brexit trade talks with the European Union but there is a deal to be done, the Foreign Secretary said yesterday.
Dominic Raab said this could be the last week of "substantive" negotiations.
He told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "If you look really at what the outstanding issues are, of course the level playing field, but it feels like there is progress towards greater respect for what the UK position was.
"On fishing there's a point of principle: as we leave the EU we're going to be an independent... coastal state and we've got to be able to control our waters."
Alan McCulla, CEO of Kilkeel-based fishing co-operative SeaSource, said negotiations were at a delicate stage.
"I think we are quite content with the way that fisheries have been maintained by the UK Government as a priority," he said. "It's been identified as one of the few industries that should benefit from Brexit - and as far as local fishermen are concerned, that benefit would be to right the wrongs of the past 40 years under Brussels rule.
"The industry here has been driven down during the UK's membership of the EU. But we're very optimistic that those wrongs are going to be righted.
"And when they are, we're ready to seize the opportunities and make a meaningful contribution to the Northern Ireland economy."
Mr McCulla said all local fishermen were asking for was a fair share of the catch in local waters.
"We here on the Co Down coast believe that if we are given that opportunity, and are provided with the infrastructure at local level, then we will be increasing our contribution to NI's economy in the months and years ahead."
But the fisheries expert said there were still concerns about how the Northern Ireland Protocol would operate from January 1.
He said a strict interpretation of the protocol would mean that on January 1 any local fishing boat which lands its Irish Sea catch in a Northern Ireland port such as Portavogie will effectively be importing it into the EU from UK waters - triggering a host of bureaucratic processes whose details are still unclear.
"Talk of a border down the middle of the Irish Sea is wrong," he added. "The border actually starts at the high water mark around the coast of Northern Ireland. It's an absurd situation to be in."
The NI Protocol also affects the import of seafood from the rest of the UK into Northern Ireland - but the detail is still to be resolved, he said.
Reports last week suggested that EU negotiator Michel Barnier recently said the EU could accept a 15-18% cut in its share of fishing rights in UK waters - but British officials were said to have immediately rejected the offer.
A Government source said: "These figures are risible, and the EU side know full well that we would never accept this. There seems to be a failure from the Commission to internalise the scale of change needed as we become an independent nation."