At Dolphin Academy, we work diligently to provide the dolphins in our care with a habitat that best emulates what they would experience in nature. The dolphins reside on the premises of Curaçao Sea Aquarium in four primary lagoons interconnected by secondary basins and canals. The lagoons surround two-thirds of the Sea Aquarium Park and are connected with the ocean, allowing a constant flow of fresh seawater and numerous fish and invertebrate species. The total amount of facility space presently available to the dolphins contains in excess of 40,000 cubic meters of fresh seawater. This is far more space than the minimum requirements of any national government and far exceeds recommendations from both the international Alliance of Maine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, AMMPA and the European Association for Aquatic Mammals, EAAM.
The dolphins are able to swim robustly in straight lines in multiple directions. The average depth is between four and five meters. The lagoons are so large, the dolphins are able to organize themselves into social groups of their own choosing. Together with their trainers, the dolphins have the option of familiarizing themselves with the reefs and ocean surrounding the lagoons, and those who choose to do so can participate in daily excursions to the open sea.
The dynamic nature of our dolphin habitat (wind, waves, current, etc.) allows for the dolphins to develop and maintain all of their natural abilities to thrive in aquatic life. Because of the availability of species of fish that are their natural prey, the dolphins are able to sustain their hunting skills as they catch and eat fish within the lagoon whenever they want. In fact, mothers teach their calves how to catch fish just as they would in nature.