Fishing charter operators in Tauranga say the reduction of the exclusion zone around the Rena is the best news they have had for weeks.
Maritime New Zealand reduced the zone to three nautical miles at midnight.
Russ Hawkins from Fat Boy Charters says the reduction of the exclusion zone also signals that fish being caught in the former zone are in good health.
He says operators are delighted with the news and can now look forward with hope to a successful summer season.
Brett Keller from Tauranga Marine Charters says reducing the zone will open most of the area around Motiti Island and will be good for both commercial and amateur anglers.
The exclusion zone previously extended from Mount Maunganui to Maketu, and out to sea past the Rena, which ran aground 22km offshore on 5 October.