Chinese Fisherman Tears Up Seeing His Fish Looted on Highway

March 25, 2016 Updated: March 27, 2016

A fish farmer in China had the misfortune of having his fish fall off his truck mid-journey on a highway—and the greater misfortune of having his misplaced fish almost immediately stolen by other drivers, a phenomenon that is commonplace in China.

According to a report by Chutian City Daily, Mr. Lu and his son were driving a truck with a thousand pounds of live grass carp in boxes of water on Erguang Expressway in Hubei province, northwest China on March 24 when suddenly, the boxes broke. Mr. Lu only discovered that his fish had fallen out after he had traveled another 1.2 miles, and immediately told his son to take the next highway exit to head back for the fish.

When your kids asked how you got the fish, are you going to tell them that you robbed an old fish farmer?
— Chinese netizen

Father and son arrived at the site where they lost their fish, and were aghast at the scene before them: instead of finding their fish still flopping around on the asphalt, they saw many drivers scooping up the fish for themselves and walking back to their illegally parked cars.

When the local police finally showed up, they found a distraught, sobbing Mr. Lu beseeching the other drivers to return his fish. Not one of them did. The police merely photographed the cars parked at the roadside and said they would issue illegal parking tickets to the drivers.

It is unclear if the police asked the drivers to return the stolen fish.

Chinese netizens on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site, expressed outrage at the incident. Adopting a sarcastic tone, netizen “Denise-Wu” from Fujian wrote: “So you go home and tell your kids, Daddy and Mommy risked their lives to steal the fish. Grow up quickly, kids, so we can go on robbery excursions together.”

“I am speechless; grass carp cost a pretty penny. When your kids asked how you got the fish, are you going to tell them that you robbed an old fish farmer?” queried “Loving You Forever— —” from Shaanxi.

 “Government officials will likely say ‘None of our relatives drive a truck, and we don’t care. We only care about the GDP,'” said a netizen from Hubei.

“The government does nothing. Isn’t this robbery?” asked “How Far Away is Spring” from Hebei. “I would say nobody would dare to do something similar if these people were arrested. Why can’t the government reflect on why things like this keep happening nationwide?”

Just a few days earlier, a similar incident took place in Chongzuo, a city in China’s southern province of Guangxi. According to a Weibo post by the local police, a truck delivering mineral water flipped on its side, scattering its water bottles over the road. Instead of helping to right the vehicle, local villagers rushed to pick up the strewn mineral water bottles.

The driver, who wasn’t injured, began to tussle with the locals. Eventually, the police had to summon additional officers to control the escalating conflict.

Follow Frank on Twitter: @HwaiDer