In 2007, the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Management Commission (NEAFC) announced a prohibition on bottom fishing in several coral-inhabited areas around the Rockall-Hatton Bank area, which have been identified as vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs).

In 2010, all bottom gear including trawling and the use of static gear such as set gillnets and longlines were prohibited in NW and SW Rockall as well as areas on Hatton Bank. In September 2010, the Convention for the Protection and of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) announced a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) that are now in place, two of which include areas inhabited by cold-water corals within UK jurisdiction. In addition to the Darwin Mounds MPA, both the WyvilleThomson Ridge and the NW Rockall Bank became candidate SACs, following the Joint Nature Conservation Commitee’s (JNCC) submissions to criteria outlined by the Habitats Directive.