The German government is considering a change to gun laws so that private security companies can protect German ships from pirates.
Currently one third of German ships are estimated to be sailing in the western Indian Ocean with guards on board, but the practice is only semi-legal. According to experts if a pirate were to be killed by a guard acting in self-defence, the guard can be punished under German laws.
As the German government seemingly heads towards giving the green light for the use of armed guards, some ideas for how this can be achieved are being voiced.
German police trade unions feel one solution to the problem is establishing a marine police unit staffed by former German soldiers, according to Bernhard Witthaut, chairman of the German Police Union.