The fight against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean has now become a private battle using private security companies, an Australian study said Wednesday.
The research titled "Pirates and Privateers: Managing the Indian Ocean's Private Security Boom" by the Lowy Institute, an international policy think tank, sheds new light on the serious problem, Xinhua reported.
The study talks about new problems that have cropped up with the rapid increase in private security companies protecting commercial ships on the Indian Ocean.
"There is a legitimate role for private companies in fighting piracy, possibly half of ships travelling the Indian Ocean are employing them. But private naval fleets are operating in a legal vacuum," said author James Brown, military fellow at the Lowy Institute.
Brown also warns about the possibility of international disputes.
"By ceding some authority for military personnel to shipping companies, national militaries risk becoming embroiled in disputes beyond their control. This has the potential to do serious damage to national reputation and cause serious diplomatic incidents," he wrote.
In February, two Italian marines shot and killed two Indian fishermen after thinking they were being attacked by pirates. They remain in Indian custody awaiting trial for murder.