Shark death raises conservation fears

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THE fourth Australian in eight months to fall victim to giant sharks died at the weekend, raising fears that laws protecting sharks are endangering swimmers.

Geoffrey Brazier, 26, the skipper of a luxury charter vessel, was snorkeling with tourists off the Abrolhos Islands, about 300 miles north of Perth, when he was attacked by a 20ft shark. His remains have not been found.

In July a surfer was bitten in half off Perth in Western Australia. In December a spearfisherman on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland bled to death from a shark bite. In an attack a few days later, a schoolboy was pulled off his surfboard by two sharks as he was towed behind a boat.

Fishermen face a fine of up to A$48,000 (