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Fishing is a very dangerous sea activity with a high rate of fatalities that is difficult to deal with by Maritime and Fisheries Administrations around the world. Meanwhile the Ocean Governance requires a global approach to sustainability and safety, with overarching principles governing both of them. This paper deals for the first time with the implementation of a complete methodology to assess the safety at sea, by means of a bottom-up goal based standards with safety level approach, encompassing the national regulations and using formal safety assessment as the driver in a fishing vessel fleet below 24 m in length (L). It is concluded that such methodologies are applicable, goal based regulations can be established, flexibility in the design can be provided and have the potential to be later extrapolated to holistic approaches.