Australia's Bureau of Meteorology says its worried that proposed tsunami warning buoys to be located between Australia and Indonesia will be stolen by pirates.
It plans to position two buoys in international waters between the two nations.
Meteorology director, Geoff Love, says its negotiating an agreement with the Indonesian government to make sure they don't become victims of pirates, scrap metal collectors.
Dr Love told a senate estimates committee in Canberra of experiences with Bureau of Meteorology assets off north-west Australia in the past.
He says some were found automatic weather stations for sale in Hong Kong.
Dr Love said the bureau had a tsunami warning buoy functioning well in the Tasman Sea between Australia's south-east coast and New Zealand.
Another would become operational next month between north Queensland and Vanuatu.