"Whale Wars" scored its highest ratings ever on Friday with an episode that showed a dramatic clash between Japanese fisherman and members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The episode pulled in 1.7 million viewers.
Sea Shepherd is a radical environmental group that operates a fleet of vessels dedicated to protecting ocean life. In its third season, "Whale Wars" chronicles its dangerous efforts to protect whales from Japanese fishermen in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.
The record-setting episode showed a violent encounter between the high-tech Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil and the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru 2 that occurred back in January. The two boats collided, and the Ady Gil was cut, in two forcing its crew to abandon ship in frigid waters.
Both the Japanese fishermen and the Sea Shepherd team separately accused each other of intentionally causing the crash.
On track for its best season ever, "Whale Wars" is up 17 percent from season two so far this summer.